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1 05 968 



RHODES 

A UF 




RHODES AT PORT ELIZABETH 
January, 1897. 



Frontispiece. 



R HOEXKS 



Life 



BY 



j. G. MCDONALD 




LONDON 

PHILIP ALLAN 6? CO. LTD. 
QUALITY HOUSE, 69 GREAT RUSSELL STREET, W.C. 



First Edition, December 1927 
Second Edition, April 1928 
Third Edition, October 1929 



FOREWORD 

THOSE continents which cradled the oldest civilisations hold 
the .deepest mysteries ; and the story of Africa, where nation^ 
creeds and peoples have come and gone, adventuring from 
the long-ago days of Biblical lore down to our own busy 
times, remains one of the greatest romances of our world, 
with much still to be unfolded. 

Africa has been called cruel, perhaps rightly. She sets a 
high standard and has no use for weaklings. Those men 
who made names for themselves in Africa there have been 
very few ; indeed it has been the grave of many reputations 
were all immensely above the average in intellect, in breadth 
of view and character. Towering above all others of this, 
our Western, civilisation, comes Rhodes, the greatest Empire 
builder we have known ; one worthy to be ranked with 
Alexander and Caesar. 

In common with every strong man, Rhodes had enemies 
in plenty ; but the bitterest of them all would have echoed 
the words of the ex-German Kaiser who, after a conversation 
with Rhodes, said, ' There goes a man/ 

Civilisation in South Africa, where Rhodes's Imperial 
work was accomplished though his dreams had vaster 
boundaries had insignificant beginnings, but it is now 
advancing from all points of the compass towards a future 
that no man can foresee. 

The Cape of Storms was at first considered as a mere 
annoyance to mariners, a point of land against which seas 
were always beating, which must be rounded on the voyage 
to India. Later, when re-christened the Cape of Good Hope, 
it was recognised as a useful place whereat to grow vegetables 
for the supply of the Dutch East-Indiamen. The success of 



vi FOREWORD 



this industry sent the Dutch settlers seeking and finding 
still more valuable land up-country. The English came ; 
gold and diamonds were discovered in remarkable abundance; 
in many cases it was found that the former had been worked 
centuries before. These and other mineral discoveries 
brought numbers of adventurers to the country from overseas, 
especially from Great Britain, and thus the foundation of 
our Imperial expansion in Africa was laid. 

Just as one cannot walk even a few steps along those 
age-old footpaths which, beginning at the sea coast, twist 
and turn right through the heart of Africa, without remem- 
bering the Phoenicians and the merchants of Ophir ; so I 
feel that in the opening pages of this volume reference must 
be made to the glamour and the inspiration of the country 
where Rhodes lived and dreamed, became inspired and 
worked. 

No adequate * Life ' of Rhodes will be possible for another 
fifty years. Many of his ideas and schemes were aimed 
at objects so far ahead that time must pass before it can be 
seen whether all the results he sought were attained. It is 
for the benefit of those future historians that I have been 
emboldened to write this short account of his astonishing 
career. In doing this, I do not ignore the admirable 
biographies by Sir Lewis Michell and Mr. Basil Williams, 
and Mr. Ian Colvin's Life of Jameson. These authors had 
first access to many letters written to and by Rhodes, and 
to other documents bearing on his intimate life, and 
have made use of them with absolute discretion. For an 
understanding of the early incidents of Rhodes's career such 
authorities are indispensable, and I have made bold to quote 
liberally from them in order to illustrate a period antecedent 
to my own friendship with Rhodes. 

I desire also to make acknowledgments to the following 
authors : Howard Hensman, Cecil Rhodes ; c Vindex,' Cecil 
Rhodes : his Political Life and Speeches ; H. Marshall Hole, 
The Making of Rhodesia ; Gordon Le Sueur, Cecil Rhodes ; 
Philip Jourdan, Cecil Rhodes : his Private Life ; Sir Thomas 
Fuller, K.C.M.G., Cecil Rhodes: a Monograph and a 



FOREWORD vii 



Reminiscence ; "Imperialist" and Dr. Jameson, Cecil 
Rhodes. 

As far as possible the sources of quotation have been 
acknowledged in footnotes to the pages where they appear. 
If this has been omitted in occasional instances I desire to 
express regret. 

I became associated with Rhodes about twelve years before 
his death, and in the course of the last six of these saw a 
great deal of him in Rhodesia and elsewhere, and during my 
connection with him I kept an intermittent journal in which 
I set out briefly many of the incidents described and such 
of his sayings as appealed to me. I may therefore claim a 
fair knowledge of my subject, but many of his friends, if 
they could only be induced to do so, could tell the story much 
better, and it is with considerable diffidence that I set my 
narrative forward. I do so, however, in the hope that some 
continuous record of Rhodes's epic career and amazing work 
for South Africa will be of interest to the many who desire 
a ' Life ' of this sort and because I am sure the world will 
want to know for countless years more and still more of the 
man whose last will and testament continues to excite both 
hemispheres* 

J. G. MCDONALD. 



CONTENTS 

OHAPTEB PAGE 

I. His YOUTH. 1853-1870 1 

II. EARLY DAYS IN NATAL. 1870-1872 - - 11 

III. THE BEGINNING OF THE ADVENTURE. 1872-1873 18 

IV. THE UNDERGRADUATE. 1873-1881 ... 29 
V. THE FOUNDATION OP GREATNESS. 1874-1881 - 40 

VI. POLICIES AND PERSONS. 1881-1883 - - 50 

VII. BLAZING THE TRAIL. 1882-1885 61 

VIH. WAYS AND MEANS. 1885-1888 ... 74 

IX. A BLIND TURNING. 1888 .... 89 

X. DEVELOPMENTS AND DIFFICULTIES. 1888-1889 98 

XI. THE CHARTER. 1889-1890 .... 110 

XH. CUTTING THE ROAD. 1890 - - - - 119 

XIII. SUCCESS. 1890-1891 127 

XIV. THE WEB OF EMPIRE. 1891 135 
XV. TROUBLES AND VICTORIES. 1892-1894 - 148 

XVI. THE COMMON WEAL. 1894 .... 164 

XVH. THE RISING CLOUD. 1894-1895 - 174 

XVHI. THE FALL. 1895-1896 185 

XIX. COURAGE. 1896-1897 205 

XX. DAYS ON THE VELD 228 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER PAflB 

XXI. FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD - - - 248 

XXIL THE UPRISING. 1897-1898 .... 282 

XXITI. THB BREAKING OF THE STOBM. 1898-1899 - 300 

XXIV. WAR. 1899-1900 317 

XXV. 'DE GBOOTE SOHUUR' 330 

XXVI. THE HOPELESS QUEST. 1900-1901 - 343 

XXVII. THE END OF THE ADVENTURE. 1902 - - 360 

XXVIII. His LAST TREK 367 

XXIX. AN EXAMPLE TO MANKIND - - - 374 

XXX. 'THE WISH CAME TO ME TO RENDER MYSELF 

USEFUL TO MY COUNTRY* .... 381 

APPENDIX 396 

INDEX 397 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

RHODES AT PORT ELIZABETH, JANUARY, 1897 Frontispiece 

PACING' PAGE 

OLD MILL, USED TO GRIND CORN FOR THE DUTCH EAST 

INDIA COMPANY 98 

LOBENGULA'S GENERAL-IN-CHIEF WITH HIS Two WIVES 

AND SONS 162 

M'JANA, LOBENGULA'S GENERAL-IN-CHIEF - - - 162 

DR. JAMESON AT BULAWAYO IN 1895 192 

SCENE OF A FIGHT IN THE MATOPO BTLLS - - - 212 

TYPICAL INYANGA COUNTRY - 216 

RHODES'S SEAT IN THE GROUNDS OF GROOTE SCHUUR - 226 

SUMMIT OF 6 WORLD'S VIEW ' HTTT. .... 258 

IN THE MATOPOS 272 

DR. JAMESON ON THE STOEP AT GROOTE SCHUUR - 312 

' DE GROOTE SCHUUR ' 330 

IN THE GROUNDS AT GROOTE SCHUUR ... - 334 

RHODES IN 1900 350 

COTTAGE IN WHICH RHODES DIED .... 366 

THE COFFIN BEING DRAGGED UP TO THE c WORLD'S VIEW * 

TTn-.T. 370 

RHODES'S GRAVE 372 

FACSIMILE LETTERS 

FACING PAGE 

LETTER OF RHODES TO THE AUTHOR, OCTOBER Iftna, 1896 238 

LETTER OF RHODES TO THE AUTHOR, NOVEMBER 7m:, 1897 288 

NOTICE POSTED DURING THE SIEGE OF KIMBERLEY - 326 

MAPS 

FAOnra PAGB 

SOUTH AFRICA IN 1882 WHEN RHODES BEGAN TO WORK 

TOWARDS THE HlNTERLAND 46 

SOUTH AFRICA IN 1902, THE YEAR OF RHODES'S DEATH 394 



CHAPTER I 

HIS YOUTH 
1853-1870 

I dream my dream by rock and heath and pine, 
Of Empire to the Northward. Ay, one land 
From Lion's Head to Line. 

RUDYARD KlPLIKG. 

CECIL JoBDsr RHODES was born in the quiet parsonage house 
of Bishop's Stortford on July 5th, 1853. He died on March 
26th, 1902, and was buried at ' World's View ' in the Matopo 
Hills, mourned by the whole Empire. 

He was that rare combination, a dreamer and a worker ; 
possessing the remarkable power of making dreams come 
true ; striving to bring immense schemes of his own design 
to fruition ; not making tangible the dreams of other men ; 
never planning ideas he was not ready to make concrete. 

The aim of his life was an Africa, British from North to 
South. 'All that Red that's my dream,' he would say, 
with maps spread out before him. Had he been spared to 
dream and work man's three score years and ten for the 
Empire he so loved, who can tell what his indomitable energy 
would have accomplished, or what still further developments 
he might have planned even beyond those he completed and 
initiated for his beloved Africa, in the short space Fate had 
allotted him ? 

Cecil Rhodes came from old English yeoman stock, a 
fact of which he was always proud, and this to some extent 
accounts for his popularity with the Dutch South African 
farmers, his sympathy with those who lived on the soil and 
his intense love of open country. 'My ancestors were 

M.O.B. A 



RHODES : A LIFE 



keepers of cows/ lie used to say ; a statement actually true, 
since early in the eighteenth century William Rhodes, a 
prosperous farmer and grazier, came south from the Midlands 
and bought considerable property in the West Central 
district of London. 1 This is said to have covered what are 
now Mecklenburgh and Brunswick Squares, and what was 
until lately the site of the Foundling Hospital. He also 
owned a small estate in the neighbourhood of Regent's Park. 
Tradition tells us, his dream was to own a thousand head of 
breeding stock but this was never realised. He was Over- 
seer of the Poor for the Parish of St. Pancras, and later 
Churchwarden. 

His son, Thomas, carried on the idea of working for the 
public good, which has always been a characteristic of the 
Rhodes family, and was so strongly evinced in the case of 
Cecil. Thomas Rhodes was Surveyor for the South Division, 
a Churchwarden, and sat on a committee appointed to treat 
for a lease of the Workhouse in Camden Town. He died in 
1787, leaving a daughter and a son, Samuel, the great- 
grandfather of Cecil. 

In addition to working successfully the farm near Islington, 
Samuel Rhodes founded large and profitable brick and tile 
works on land purchased by him at Dalston, which property 
is still owned by the Rhodes Trustees. 

Samuel Rhodes had three sons : Thomas, who held many 
public appointments and founded the Northamptonshire 
branch of the family ; Samuel, who lived and died in the 
Parish of St. Pancras ; and William, born in 1774, who 
settled at Leyton Grange in Essex, and acquired extensive 
property there. 

Although at this time the direct connection with St. 
Pancras seems to have been abandoned, in the old churchyard 
there is a massive tombstone of red granite on a grey base, 
erected by Cecil Rhodes in memory of thirty-three members 
of the family whose names are written thereon. Two 
additional inscriptions have been* made in later years, one 
in memory of Herbert Rhodes, Cecil's eldest brother, who 

1 Mitchell. 



His YOUTH 3 



died while on a hunting expedition in Nyasaland in 1879 ; 
the other attesting the death of Cecil John Rhodes. 

The William Rhodes who bought Leyton Grange was 
succeeded by his son, Francis William Rhodes, the father 
of Cecil. He was educated for the Church and went to 
Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. From 1834 to 1849 
he was curate of Brentwood in Essex, where he was known 
as * the good Mir. Rhodes ' ; and he built a small church for 
the hamlet of South Weald at his own expense. In 1849 he 
was presented to the living of Bishop's Stortford, where he 
remained for twenty-seven years, only leaving it in 1876, 
two years before he died at Fairlight, near Hastings. He 
is described as a tall, loosely made man, with a fine intellectual 
head. His manner was courteous, though he was considered 
somewhat eccentric ; and in spite of many good works, he 
seems to have been a man of rigid ideas and strong prejudices. 
We are told x that he had a horror of lawyers, which may 
account for the fact that none of his sons adopted the legal 
profession. His sermons, which always lasted exactly ten 
minutes, were packed with sound doctrine and delivered in 
a melodious voice. He kept his large family in due respect 
of their father, and brought them up on strictly religious 
principles. It was his ambition that all his sons should take 
Orders, and become, as he used to say, ' the seven angels of 
the seven churches/ This hope was doomed to complete 
disappointment, as not one of his family entered the Church. 
In addition to the work of a large parish, he watched over 
the education of his children, established a training school 
for the mistresses of Elementary Schools which at that 
time was much needed and, backed by influential friends, 
he rebuilt the old Grammar School at Bishop's Stortford, 
to which in turn all his sons were sent. 

He married first Elizabeth Manet, a lady of Swiss descent, 
who died two years later, leaving him with one daughter. 
Nine years afterwards he married Louisa Peacock, of Sleaf ord 
^Lincolnshire. From this marriage there were two daughters 
and nine sons. The family grew up in an atmosphere of 

i Williams. 



EHODBS: A LIFE 



refinement and sincere religion, typical of an English country 
clergyman's home at that time. 

The mother, who died when Cecil was twenty, was a 
woman with a gentle and charming personality, whose 
sympathy and tenderness with her children relieved the 
Vicar's rather spartan discipline. 'My mother,' Cecil said 
one day, e got through an amazing amount of work : she 
must have had the gift of organisation, for she was never 
flustered and seemed always to have ample time to listen to 
all our many and, to us, vastly important affairs. I think 
now we wore her out.' 

Of the family, only Elizabeth, the daughter of the first wife, 
and Ernest married. Cecil's two sisters, Edith and Louisa, 
lived quietly in England, one in London, the other at Iver ; 
though both paid lengthy visits to South Africa. It has been 
said that Edith Rhodes was more like Cecil than any of the 
brothers. She showed not only his characteristic carelessness 
of attire, but also his dauntless spirit. Though they often 
disagreed, and Cecil said on one occasion that Groote Schuur 
was not big enough for them both, yet he remained attached 
to her in many ways. Edith Rhodes possessed a wonderful 
store of energy, whilst she also showed a total disregard for 
convention. One who knew her once remarked that, ' had 
she been a man, she too would have made a new country, 
or, had there been no more new countries, she would have 
built an island in the ocean ! ' 

Besides two sons who died in infancy, there were Herbert, 
Prank, Cecil, Ernest, Elmhirst, Arthur, and Bernard to be 
started in life. Four of them entered the Army the other 
three going to the Colonies. 

. Herbert loved adventure, and left home early to adopt a 
roving life. He was educated at Winchester, where amongst 
other things he distinguished himself by capturing six 
Eton wickets in the inter-school match. Of a daring and 
adventurous temperament, he must have been a great source 
of anxiety to the parents. It is said that Herbert was strongly 
inspired by that spirit of Colonial expansion for which Cecil 
worked, which is described by Oswald Spengler in his great 



His YOUTH 5 



book, The Decline of the West, as c a doom; something 
daemonic and immense, which grips, forces into service, and 
uses up mankind.' Certain it is that Cecil adored this 
brother, and spent long hours in his company before he left 
home ; and it is highly probable that even in those early 
days the germ was sown which when fully developed in later 
years vitally influenced the course of events in South Africa 
and even affected the world's history. 

Erank, after going to Eton, held a Commission in the 1st 
Dragoons, and rose to the rank of Colonel. He distinguished 
himself at the battle of Tel-el-Kebir, and did good service 
in Uganda. He gained the D.S.O., the Egyptian medal, and 
the Khedive's Star. While serving in Egypt he was described 
by Sir Herbert Stewart as ' the best Staff Officer any com- 
mander could ever hope to have.' He was one of the Re- 
formers sentenced to death after the Johannesburg crisis 
of 1895-6 ; but was reprieved and afterwards went as special 
correspondent for the Times to the Soudan with Lord 
Kitchener, and was besieged in Ladysmith in the South 
African War. For a short time he was Administrator of 
Rhodesia. ' Frank,' said Cecil, * was a very gallant fellow 
in the battlefield and also in the ladies' boudoir perhaps 
too much of a courtier, but he worked hard and often amused 
one.' After the death of Cecil, this brother inherited the 
Newmarket estates, but he died of blackwater fever at 
Groote Schuur in 1905, to the lasting regret of a wide circle 
of friends, to whom he had greatly endeared himself, both in 
South Africa and elsewhere. 

Ernest, after leaving the Army with the rank of Captain, 
went to Australia for a short period, from whence he returned 
to Johannesburg and became associated with the Consoli- 
dated Goldfields. He inherited Dalham on the death of 
Colonel Frank ; but, dying himself a few months later, left 
it to his eldest son. 

Elmhirst was also in the Army until after the South 
African War. 

Arthur followed Cecil to South Africa, and took up ostrich 
farming near Oudtshoorn, but with indifferent results. He 



6 RHODES : A LIFE 

then interested himself in certain mining ventures with 
varying success, and also became the owner of several farms 
in the neighbourhood of Bulawayo which he afterwards 
disposed of to the Government. At a later date he retired 
to a farm he had purchased many years before, close to Port 
Elizabeth, which he still occupies and where he is engaged 
in carrying out numerous experiments in agriculture. 

Bernard, the youngest of the brothers, became a soldier. 
He had resigned his Commission before the South African 
War, though he rejoined on the outbreak of hostilities. 
Cecil was very fond of him, but used to criticise his c useless 
life.' ' Bernard is a charming fellow,' he said once, ' he 
rides, shoots, and fishes. In fact he is a loafer a pleasant 
loafer.' 

In earlier generations, the men of the Rhodes family all 
seem to have been successfully hardworking and industrious ; 
while in the case of the sons of the Rev. F. W. Rhodes, the 
force and the power of surmounting obstacles centred itself 
to a great extent in the character of one member Cecil 
whose name and work will go down to history for all time. 

In 1861, when he was eight years old, Cecil followed his 
three elder brothers to the Bishop's Stortford Grammar 
School. Until that time he had been educated at home. 
By no means a brilliant scholar, he was a steady worker, 
and had a love for thoroughness in anything he undertook. 
At this period he had already shown signs of possessing those 
traits which became his dominant characteristics in later 
years. An unconquerable spirit and a dogged tenacity of 
purpose enabled him to carry through any task he set 
himself ; and all his work was done thoroughly and earnestly. 
At school his strongest subjects were religious knowledge, 
French and the classics, though history and geography were 
always his favourite studies. He was weak in mathematics, 
a surprising fact in view of the vast financial enterprises he 
carried out. Rhodes was rather fond of telling of an incident 
that happened about this period when he was between ten 
and twelve years of age. It seems that he went on a visit 
to an old Admiral he had long admired, and who had reached 



His YOUTH 



the ripe old age of some eighty years. Cecil on his arrival 
found the old gentleman busily planting acorns, and it struck 
hi' that his old friend would not live sufficiently long to see 
much in the way of results, and somewhat boldly, though at 
the same time with a certain amount of diffidence, he said to 
the Admiral, ' Why are you planting acorns, sir, when you 
cannot expect to see them grow into trees ? * ' My boy, 9 
replied the Admiral, * I have the imagination, and I already 
see them as trees with people walking under their shade and 
when mature providing necessary timbers for many ventures. 
To-day and every day they are growing. I have the pleasure 
of the conception of their shade and their glory.' Later in 
life Rhodes said it was a lesson which had engraved itself 
on his mind, and had been of the greatest value to him. 

On one occasion he gained a medal for elocution, although 
it is generally agreed that in after years Rhodes was not a 
talented orator. It was the force of a great personality 
behind simple words that made his political speeches so 
effective. c Vindex ' tells us that c he talked with thousands 
in the same direct homely language he would have used to 
one.' And as Rhodes himself once said, c No one ever 
accused me of preparing a speech, though no doubt it is the 
right thing to do.' 

At the age of thirteen, Cecil was playing in the school 
cricket eleven, but, though fond of sport, he took only a mode- . 
rate share in athletics. At this time he was slender and frail- 
looking, though without being actually delicate ; a dreamy, 
imaginative boy wandering over the countryside, alone or 
with his brother Herbert. He spent many hours sitting on 
the garden gate looking out over the meadows to the River 
Stort, down which crept barges carrying their cargoes of 
wheat and barley to the wharves of the old town. Here 
dreamed the boy, later to develop into the man, who with 
maps spread before him thought in Empires ; of his dreams 
he brought many to realisation, others to which he gave 
practical initiation matured in due course though they lacked 
his guiding hand, while still more remain hidden for ever in 
the womb of the future. ' My father,' he said to me once, 



8 RHODES: A LIFE 

c frequently, and I am now sure wisely, demolished many of 
my dreams as fantastical, but when I had rebuilt them on 
more practical lines he was ready to listen again. He never 
failed to put his finger on the weak spots, and his criticisms 
soon taught me to consider a question from every possible 
point of view.' As a boy Cecil was on the whole good- 
tempered a trait probably fostered by the give and take 
necessary in a large family. But at times he chafed against 
discipline, with an outburst of that imperious will which 
marked his later career. On one occasion when he was 
chastised rather severely at school,- in a fit of momentary 
anger Rhodes seized a heavy book from the desk beside him, 
and made a movement as if intending to throw it at the 
master. But instantly realising the unseemliness of such 
conduct, he replaced the book with an incoherent apology. 

c A grubby little boy with ruffled hair,' is the description 
of a lady who knew Rhodes at this time. And when that 
same little boy became one of the most famous men in our 
Colonial affairs he still possessed the ruffled hair ; while his 
love of comfort in clothing coupled with his big, loose-limbed 
frame, often gave an appearance of untidiness. 

Outside his own family, no one ever used his Christian 
name always a sign of the recognition of a mind above the 
average ; and Prank speaks of him in very early days as 
' long-headed Cecil.' In South Africa, to those who worked 
with him and loved him, he was always ' The Old Man ' or 
* The Chief.' In the early Kimberley days the natives gave 
him the name of ' U'Tswai,' which means salt, a designation 
which they explained as meaning a man with a sharp but 
pleasant nature.' Lobengula referred to Rhodes in pictur- 
esque language as * The Big Brother who Eats up Countries 
for his Breakfast,' and in Rhodesia the natives called him 
'M'Lamula N'Kunzi ' ' The Separator of the Fighting 
Bulls,' * for,' said the Matabele warriors who gave him the 
name, c did he not come in between us unarmed when our 
impis (regiments) were fighting the white man's and pull us 
apart and then bring us peace ? ' 

When he was only thirteen, Cecil had already decided that 



His YOUTH 



for a man a single life was better than marriage ; and lie had 
chosen for his motto, ' To do or die.' * 

The Rhodes children possessed a much appreciated c second 
home ' in Sleaford Manor, where they often stayed with Mrs. 
Peacock, their mother's sister. Aunt Sophy was a favourite 
with them all ; and to her Cecil confided some of his earliest 
dreams. At Sleaford he made many friends, especially the 
Vicar's son, with whom he often rode ; but, though fond 
of this exercise all his life, he never possessed a good seat on 
a horse. 

Decidedly the quiet parsonage atmosphere, the rough and 
tumble of the Grammar School and the Lincolnshire friend- 
ships were sufficiently divergent to form a fine grounding 
for the give and take of life abroad. Rhodes possessed a 
reverence for the old feudal traditions and a lifelong respect 
for the owner of land. He carried himself always with an 
air of good breeding, in spite of many unconventionalities, 
which made him welcome in the most exclusive as well as 
in the roughest society, and he very early learned the gift of 
appraising men at their true value to the world and to 
himself. 

At Christmas, 1869, Cecil left the Grammar School, where 
he had been popular with masters and comrades, to continue 
studying under his father. At this time Herbert was already 
abroad ; and Frank was in the Army Class at Eton. 

Cecil had no inclination for the life of a soldier. His name 
was entered at Oxford, and for a time it seemed possible he 
would follow in his father's footsteps. He wrote to his Aunt 
Sophy that although he would ' above everything like to be 
a barrister, next to law he thought a clergyman's life the 
nicest.' In the same letter he is speaking of Frank's success 
in the Eton and Harrow match. It is evident that Cecil 
found great difficulty in fixing on a career ; which was no 
wonder, since his character was too big to fit into any recog- 
nised groove. This period one of apparent indecision 
must have been very trying to the energetic youth. Luckily 
it did not last long. 

1 Heusman. 



10 RHODES: A LIFE 

A few months after leaving school, a severe chill threatened 
hi with a dangerous affection of the lungs his condition 
was so serious that doctors gave him a very few years to live, 
and advocated a long sea voyage. For this reason it was 
decided to send Cecil to South Africa, where he would join 
Herbert, who was now cotton planting in Natal. At our 
camp fire in the Matopo Hills in 1896 he told us that when he 
was informed of the decision, he went to bed aflame with 
excitement, and that about midnight, not being able to sleep, 
he went down from his room to find a map of South Africa 
which he studied till morning, 'by which time/ he said, 
* Africa possessed my bones.' 

He left for Durban on a sailing ship on June 21st, 1870, 
just before his seventeenth birthday, taking with him a 
capital of 2000 lent by his Aunt Sophy. It is not difficult 
to imagine with what high hopes and a belief in dreams to 
be fulfilled, a youth so imaginative as the young Rhodes 
would have started out in life. 



CHAPTER II 

EARLY DAYS IN NATAL 

1870-1872 

ON the first day of September, 1870, after seventy days at 
sea, Rhodes arrived in South Africa. Durban, the port 
where he landed, which now owns docks that a steamer of 
over 20,000 tons can enter, was in those days an open 
roadstead blocked by a dangerous bar, outside of which 
ships were forced to lie at a precarious anchorage, swaying 
unceasingly on the giant swells that roll around that coast. 

What is now a beautiful and admirably equipped town was 
then a collection of wretched buildings, mostly of galvanised 
iron, between which ran spaces intended for streets ; but 
at this time they were almost entirely covered by the 
ever-shifting sand. The heights behind the town are beauti- 
ful, and must have appeared doubly so when seen from the 
anchorage by a boy who had just accomplished his first 
voyage of over two months' duration. To him the TrilTa 
- of the Berea, clothed in semi-tropical vegetation and veiled 
with a blue heat haze, must have seemed like a dream world 
come true. 

On his arrival Rhodes was met by Dr. Sutherland, then 
Surveyor-General of Natal. He and his wife entertained the 
young man for some time after his arrival, for Herbert was 
away on a prospecting trip with a band of Natal Pioneers 
under Captain Rolleston. For this reason Cecil was again 
faced with a short period of inaction and, kind though his 
hosts were, the boy must naturally have been anxious to 
start up-country and see something of the new life. 

Though his health had already greatly improved, he was 
at this time delicate-looking, shy and reserved, and a great 
reader. He had studied on the voyage, but was still no 

ll 



12 RHODES : A LIFE 

nearer a decision as to his future career, though he had not 
entirely abandoned the thought of taking Orders. As 
Rhodes most certainly possessed the personality to rise to 
the top of any profession he adopted, it requires no stretch 
of imagination to suppose that he might very easily have 
become a pillar of the Church, had his talents not been 
turned in another direction. 

When Herbert returned, after finding diamonds in the 
gravel of the Vaal River, twenty-five miles north-west of 
Dutoitspan, the two brothers travelled together to the 
Umkomaas Valley to the south of Pietermaritzburg. Here 
Herbert and a few other farmers had decided to attempt 
cotton-growing in Natal. In spite of adverse criticism as to 
the wisdom of the venture, it seems to have been a jolly 
little community in which the brothers found themselves. 
There were several neighbours within a radius of a few miles, 
among whom young Hawkins, the son of a Natal magistrate, 
seems to have been Cecil's greatest friend. These two young 
men read the classics together, dreamed of Oxford, and made 
plans for saving up enough money to go there without out- 
side help, though only Rhodes fulfilled the ambition. He 
began very early, not only to save money, but to look around 
for a wise investment of his savings. 

Not long after he settled down to cotton planting he wrote 
asking Dr. Sutherland, who afterwards acted as his agent, 
to invest for hi a small sum in the railway then being 
constructed between Durban and the Point or landing stage. 

Thus Rhodes early deserved Frank's reference to him as 
* long-headed Cecil ' ; and shortly afterwards he wrote home 
suggesting that this elder brother should * come out here 
before he gets his Commission, as it will be very good for 
him, so much better than the good-for-nothing life he is 
leading now/ From this it can be seen that the distaste for 
a somewhat easy-going life, so characteristic of the mature 
Rhodes, was strongly developed from his earliest years. 

Herbert Rhodes was a daring explorer full of the adven- 
turous courage which the old-time sea-rovers possessed, but 
his character was spoilt by an utter recklessness that in the 



EARLY DAYS IN NATAL 13 

end brought about his death. Many stories are told of his 
courage. Once he swam into the Umkomaas River in flood 
in order to free a team of oxen from their waggon, thus 
giving them a chance to swim ashore. The steady life of a 
cotton planter, however, proved irksome to his restless 
nature, and he left Cecil in charge of the estate for ever 
lengthening intervals, while he himself engaged in the search 
for gold or diamonds, or went on hunting trips into new 
country. 

About this time M'Ziligazi, the Chief of the Matabele, had 
died and was succeeded by his second son, Lobengula, in 
whose life fifteen years later Cecil, the young cotton planter, 
became so powerful a factor. It was a time of commercial 
prosperity and adventurous excitement caused by the 
.discovery of the first diamonds in shallow river diggings. 
,Wild tales of fabulous finds were being spread throughout 
.the country and, in face of these, the life of a planter, for 
.which Cecil possessed no experience or training, would have 
proved too monotonous for most young men newly come 
from England with the hope of a college career before them. 
But not so Rhodes. With characteristic energy and thorough- 
ness, he set himself to master every detail necessary to a real 
understanding of his job and also to think out and put into 
operation new methods of working which would make it 
more profitable. 

Though he was a comparatively short time on the planta- 
tion, it is certain that the difficulties he struggled against 
and surmounted while there helped him in the battles he 
fought later on. It may well be that none of the gigantic 
schemes he carried through in later years proved more 
difficult of accomplishment than when, at the age of eighteen, 
he made cotton grow in a district where old colonists had 
declared it to be impossible. During his political career, 
when confronted by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, 
Rhodes often observed quietly, "They told me I couldn't 
grow cotton.' l 

The first season's crop was a failure, which was not sur- 
1 Williams. 



14 EHODES : A LIFE 

prising, for the ground had only been hurriedly cleared and 
the cotton was planted too closely ; but the second year the 
crop almost justified the high hopes with which the venture 
had been started. 

The brothers lived very simply in two huts with a Kaffir 
boy as their only personal servant. There were few com- 
forts ; funds were extremely scarce, and the heat of the 
valley very trying. 

In spite of many handicaps Rhodes persevered, and from 
current accounts of him and from what we know of his 
character at a later date we may feel sure that in striving 
against and overcoming almost overwhelming difficulties in 
a semi-tropical valley, he was far happier than during the 
months of indecision and inaction which had followed his 
leaving school. Although constantly busy superintending 
the details of the estate, it is certain from later developments 
that he found time to dream of and to discuss the future. 

The supply of labourers at the Umkomaas settlement was 
uncertain, and added yet another anxiety to Cecil's many 
difficulties at this time, but both he and Herbert were 
popular with the natives. Cecil had an intuitive under- 
standing of native ways and thoughts an invaluable gift 
to a man who always sought their confidence. On one 
occasion he writes of having advanced money to the native 
labourers because 'if you lend it them, they come and 
work it out and Kaffirs are really safer than the Bank of 
England/ 1 a remarkable instance of the trust he always 
felt in the black man. 

And again, writing to Dr. Sutherland, he says, speaking 
of the plantation, 'It really seems an ill-fated valley. 
You would be surprised did you know what a sink it has 
been.' 2 So we can guess what had happened to Bhodes's two 
thousand pounds, and we know that he had already learnt 
the invaluable lesson that every new farm needs more 
capital than anybody would at first suppose ! 

After a year on the cotton estate Ehodes's health was 
almost completely restored ; though he was still the ' shy 
1 Colvin. * Williams. 



EARLY DAYS IN NATAL 15 

and solitary spirit' that he remained all his life, despite 
the firm and lasting friendships that he made. In addition 
to better health, the life on the plantation had done much 
to consolidate into a forceful personality the determined 
characteristics of young Cecil. He had developed business 
capacity and gained actual experience of the difficulties 
which beset all settlers in a new country which was to prove 
invaluable to him in later years. He had also won the con- 
fidence of the natives who, all his life, loved and trusted him 
blindly ; and when he was buried the Matabele gave "him 
in the Matopo Hilla the royal salute of their nation Zulu 
which no one save their kings had ever been given before. 

But it was a hard experience, especially as he was torn 
between sticking to the cotton, and the temptation to 
follow Herbert to the then newly discovered diamond dig- 
gings at Colesberg Kopje, later to be known as Kimberley. 
Prospectors from all over the world were now arriving in 
South Africa anxious to verify the tales of fabulous finds, 
which by this time were obsessing nearly all the settlers. 

* To hear Bolleston talk and see his diamonds makes one's 
mouth water,' x Cecil writes home, and he goes on to tell of 
'Three whoppers, one worth 8000, another 10,000, and 
another 9000. The man who found the 10,000 diamond 
had offered his claim the evening before for 15s. and nobody 
would buy it ! ' 

So Cecil waited for his second cotton harvest with what 
impatience we can guess and after seeing the crop baled 
and ginned he started for the new diggings at Colesberg 
Kopje, where Herbert had already pegged a claim. 2 

He travelled, as he had planned to do a long time before, 
' over the hills with the splendid blue tint on them,' alone 

1 Colvin. 

2 It is of interest to note that the price of cotton had gradually 
been dropping from lOJd. a Ib. for cotton lint landed in Liverpool 
in 1868, and in 1872 had fallen to 6d. per Ib., which, as Rhodes 
remarked many years afterwards, made its production in Natal quite 
an unpayable proposition. His opinion was, and it would hold good 
to-day, that there is nothing in it for white planters at a price below 
9d. a Ib. for cotton lint. 



16 RHODES: A LIFE 

except for one Kaffir. He took with him a few boxes of 
biscuits, some flour, tea, sugar, and other simple pro- 
visions, and ' that wonderful box of lozenges my father sent 



me/ 1 

That four hundred mile journey from the Umkomaas 
valley over the Drakensberg mountains to Colesberg Kopje 
must have taken the young Rhodes with a cart and oxen 
well over a month. In addition to provisions he had with 
hi several volumes of the classics and some digger's tools 
strangely contrasting impedimenta, which yet served to 
illustrate precisely the dual character of the ' Practical Seer/ 
as he has been called. 

It must have been a slow and solitary journey through a 
country of great beauty and grandeur, very different from 
the tropical atmosphere of the plantation in the low country. 
The vastness of the open high-veld, which he now saw for 
the first time, probably did much to enlarge those dreams 
of Colonial expansion which had already begun to germinate 
in hiq mind. 

It was never an easy matter to get Rhodes to talk of any 
part of his life that was past he lived entirely in the present 
and the future and scarcely anything is known of his long 
trek to Colesberg, but I gathered from him during a rambling 
ride one day that his pony died and that afterwards he 
always walked ahead of his cart, which covered about fourteen 
miles a day Sundays were, however, rest days. Most of 
the trekking was done in the late afternoon and again in 
the very early morning, so that the oxen could feed during 
the day when they would be observed if they strayed. The 
journey was not free from troubles and many were encoun- 
tered, but all overcome. All sorts and conditions of men 
were pushing from every point of the compass to the Diamond 
Fields, and thefts of stock and every conceivable article were 
constant occurrences, so that Rhodes never dared let his 
belongings get out of his sight. Even so he lost a good many 
articles, including a copy of Plutarch's Lives, which he missed 
sorely. 

1 Colvin. 



EARLY DAYS IN NATAL 17 

At last Colesberg Kopje appeared in sight, and soon lie 
vras at the objective of his first march. Here was rush, here 
wa,s life. Hard, practical, organised effort must now follow 
the days of dreaming he had just left behind him. 

And so began the Great Adventure. 



M.OJB. 



CHAPTEE III 

THE BEGINNING OF THE ADVENTURE 
1872-1873 

WHEN Rhodes reached Colesberg Kopje towards the end of 
1872 he found diggers of all nations gathered there, living 
in tents, huts, or waggons, with refuse heaps and native 
kraals here and there in close proximity. In their camp, 
which consisted of a little collection of tents and bee-hive 
huts under a gnarled mimosa tree, Herbert Rhodes and young 
Hawkins were joined by Cecil. The energy that he had given 
to cotton, growing was now turned into another channel ; 
and with that thoroughness which he had shown even in 
school days, he set himself to learn the new strange business 
of diamond digging. 

In a surprisingly short time he mastered every detail, not 
only the problems of labour, washing, sorting, and the yield 
per load, but also prices of rough stones and the buying 
capacity of the public ; thus he was able later on to meet 
experts on their own ground. The many different types of 
men into whose company Rhodes was thrown in the rough 
life of the camp, helped him toward the wonderful gift he 
had of seeing into men's hearts. 

In a letter to his mother, he described in clear yet graphic 
language the new diggings and the life of the diggers. 
* Fancy,' he writes, 1 e an immense plain with right in its 
centre a great mass of white tents and iron stores, and on 
one side of it, all mixed up with the camp, mounds of lime- 
like ant-hills .... and you have some idea of Dutoitspan, 
the first spot where dry diggings for diamonds were begun.' 

1 Williams. 
18 



THE BEGINNING OF THE ADVENTURE 19 

... c I should like you/ he says, ' to have a peep at the 
kopje from my tent door at the present moment. It is like 
an immense number of ant-heaps covered with black ants, 
as thick as can be, the latter represented by human beings ; 
when you understand there are about six hundred claims on 
the kopje, and each claim is generally split into four, and on 
each bit of it there are about six blacks and whites working, 
it gives a total of about ten thousand working every day on 
a piece of ground 180 yards by 220. . . . Take your garden 
for instance/ he continues, * and peg the whole off into 
squares or claims 31 ft. by 31 ft., and then the question is 
how to take all the earth out and sort and sieve it. All 
through the kopje, roads have been left to carry the stuff 
off in carts like the following (here comes a rough diagram), 
that is, of every claim of 31 ft., 7 ft. 6 inches are not allowed 
to be worked, but is left for a road the roads are the only 
ground that remain of the original level. . . . The carting on 
the kopje is done chiefly by mules, as they are so very hardy 
and have so few diseases. .There are constantly mules and 
carts all going head over heels into the mines below, as there 
are no rails or anything on either side of the roads, nothing 
but one great broad chasm below. Here and there where 
the roads have fallen in, bridges have been put, and they are 
now the safest part of the kopje.' . . . 

The letter concludes: 'Have you ever read those tales 
where they find some wonderfully big diamonds ? Well ! on 
this kopje I should think nearly every day they find a diamond 
over fifty carats. The only misfortune is, that they almost 
all have a slightly yellow tinge, and are getting quite unsale- 
able. Diamond buyers now give only four pounds per carat 
for yellow stones of any size or shape, that is a seventy carat 
would not fetch more than 280. I found a 17f carat on 
Saturday; it was very slightly off, and I hope to get 100 
for it : does it not seem an absurd price ? Yesterday I 
found a three and a half perfect stone but glassy, which I 
sold for 30, as they are rather dangerous stones to keep, 
having a nasty habit of suddenly splitting all over. . . . You 
must not, however, think that every diamond one finds is a 



20 RHODES : A LIFE 

beauty ; the great proportion are nothing but splints but 
still, even of these you very seldom find one that is not worth 
five shillings. Rough diamonds are of all shapes, sizes and 
colour under the sun ; some are flat, some round, some 
like two pyramids with their bases joined, some have black 
spots in the centre, others are yellow, and in fact they take 
every form you can think of. ... I find on an average 30 
carats a week and am working one of the few whole claims 
in the kopje ; a claim, in fact, that will take me 4 years to 
work out at the present rate. Diamonds have only to con- 
tinue a fair price and I think Herbert's fortune is made ; 
when I tell you at the present moment he owns in all three 
whole claims on this kopje : the one I am working, one whole 
claim, Beecher's one quarter, Chadwick a half, another whole 
claim at the top of the kopje, and another J I bought. Mine 
and Beecher's, however, yield far the most. I average about 
100 per week. Yrs., C. J. RHODES.' 

Although, as a rule, Rhodes's letters were models of brief- 
ness, and he preferred whenever possible to send telegrams, 
it is remarkable that he kept up a voluminous correspondence 
with his mother until she died. To her he carefully explained 
every detail of his life in such a way that, when read in the 
quiet parsonage of Bishop's Stortford, it should be readily 
understood. Unfortunately, none of Mrs. Rhodes's letters 
to her son seem to have been kept. 

Cecil had not been long at the diggings when Herbert 
went on a trip home, leaving him to manage the claims 
assisted by C. D. Rudd, an old Harrovian, who had also 
come out for his health and who afterwards became Rhodes's 
partner. Rudd, in talking to me many years ago of those 
early days, told of the very hard manual work he and Rhodes 
had to undertake when, for instance, native labour was 
scarce ; how for days on end they carried the * pay dirt ' in 
bags, boxes or buckets to the sorting tables, and how while 
engaged on this Rhodes one day broke the little finger of his 
right hand, which, not having been set properly, he was never 
afterwards able to bend ; the result being that it became 
impossible for him to give a grip in handshaking. 



THE BEGINNING OF THE ADVENTURE 21 

Rhodes was now only nineteen years old, and the life oi 
the mining camp, where he had to hold his own in an undis- 
ciplined crowd of men, for the most part older and more 
experienced than himself, was indeed a severe training. Even 
in such early days he met c unscrupulous men against whom 
he was destined to pit his brains and after long and arduous 
struggles to emerge a victor.' l He was never turned aside 
by any obstacle. Naturally of an impatient and petulant 
disposition, he had a singular tenacity of purpose. 

c Imperialist ' speaks of him thus : ' A tall, raw, English 
youth . . . careless in his dress, abrupt, from shyness, in his 
manner, young Rhodes was already in power of brain and 
will far ahead of the older men around him, and was noted 
for the independence and originality of his views of men and 
things. Deep in thoughts and schemes that reached far 
beyond the little world of the diamond fields, Rhodes, when 
he came to be known, was . . . generally admitted to be a 
far-sighted man of business with a head for finance/ 

In Sir Lewis Michell's book, Rhodes on the diamond fields 
is described as ' a tall, fair boy, blue-eyed, with somewhat 
aquiline features, wearing flannels of the school playing field, 
somewhat shrunken with strenuous rather than effectual 
washings that still left the colour of the red veld dust a 
harmony in a prevailing scheme/ 

One of Rhodes's early friends writes : 2 c As I search my 
memory for the Rhodes of the early seventies, I seem to see 
a fair young man frequently sunk in deep thoughts, his hands 
buried in his trouser pockets, his legs crossed and twisted 
together, quite oblivious of the talk around Mm ; then 
without a word he would get up and go out with some set 
purpose in his mind, which he was at no pains to communi- 
cate. He was a compound of moody silence and impulsive 
action. He was hot and even violent at times, but in working 
towards his ends he laid his plans with care and circumspection. 
He was fond of putting the case against himself, and this habit 
of seeing the other side probably helped him much in his career. 
Few men are adequately aware what the other side thinks. 
1 Michell. a Norman Garstin. 



22 EHODES: A LIFE 

c The duality of his nature the contemplative and the 
executive had a curious counterpart in his voice, which 
broke when he was excited into a land of falsetto, unusual 
in a man of his make ; his laugh also had this falsetto note. 

6 In all his wide range he had no place for personal appear- 
ance ; of this he was contemptuously indifferent. I remem- 
ber the laughter he evoked by describing how, on his first 
return home, during the voyage his one pair of trousers gave 
out in an important detail and he had to stay in his berth 
until a sailor had patched them with a piece of sailcloth. 
The punctilious regard for minutiae which is usual in business 
men was absent from his character ; he was hopelessly 
untidy. Very simple in his tastes and wanting few things, 
he determined only to trouble himself about the most im- 
portant, but for the attainment of these he spared neither 
himself nor others.' 

A Boer said that the Rhodes of these days was ' damnably 
like an Englishman ! ' And Howard Hensman tells us that 
c a stranger landing at Kimberley at that time and seeing 
Rhodes in his shirt sleeves, seated on an upturned bucket, 
sorting with keen eyes the diamonds from the gravel on an 
improvised table in the open air, or reading a text-book for 
his next examination at Oxford with one eye on his native 
workmen, would have found it hard to believe that in this 
man the destinies of South Africa were virtually bound up. 
To all appearance he seemed to have no other object in life 
than his books and the successful working of his diamond 
claim.' 

Yet we know that Rhodes was already thinking far beyond 
his text-books, though they were the step to the University 
career on which he was determined and the mine which 
should bring him wealth without which he early realised 
his dreams could never become tangible. 

At the diggings he continued to read the classics with 
young Hawkins. Chief among other friends at this period 
were C. D. Rudd, Scully, and John X. Merriman. 

The dry pure air of the high-veld very soon completely 
re-established Rhodes's health. He took his part in that 



THE BEGINNING OP THE ADVENTURE 23 

hard life as one of the most energetic of the diggers. He 
and Rudd also made money by the erection of an ice-making 
plant, thus providing a much needed amenity in the parched 
camp during eight months yearly of blinding sunshine, 
drought and dust. 

As already stated, Herbert Ehodes went for a trip to 
England in 1872, leaving Cecil in charge of the Rhodes claims, 
which were now valued at 5000, a pretty heavy responsi- 
bility for a lad of nineteen. In the next year Herbert 
returned, bringing with him his brother Frank, who had been 
at Eton and was now awaiting his Commission ; and who, 
we are told, was considerably piqued on his arrival because, 
as he says in a letter home, ' No one believes I am older than 
Cecil ! ' 1 From which we see that first the hard discipline 
of the lonely plantation and then the excitement of a diamond 
rush had left their mark on Rhodes, who had left home only 
a boy two years before. 

Erank Rhodes relates that 1 'Mr. Merriman praises 
Cecil up to the skies. He says Cecil is such an excellent man 
of business ; that he has managed all the business in Herbert's 
absence wonderfully well, and that they are all so very fond 
of him. . . . He says most young fellows when they get up 
there and do well get so very bumptious, but that Cecil was 
just the contrary,' and he adds from his own observation, 
* Cecil seems to have done wonderfully well as regards the 
diamonds.' 

* We found Cecil,' Frank continues, * down in the claim, 
measuring his ground with his lawyer, and in a tremendous 
rage with another man in the next claim to him who has 
encroached on his ground.' He adds quaintly, * I know the 
Father will be horrified at the idea of Cecil going to law.' 

When the law limiting each digger to a single claim was 
revoked in 1874, Rhodes began to speculate in buying and 
selling other claims, and he soon became known as the ablest 
speculator on the fields. He had already realised the wisdom 
of not depending on one working, however valuable. He 
wished one day to be master of them all. Everything he 

i Williams. 



24 EHODES : A LIFE 

touched seemed to turn out well ' Rhodes's luck,' the dig- 
gers called it ; but the so-called luck in his case was due to 
the taking of infinite pains. A good many years afterwards 
he remarked one day, * Hazlitt was pretty well right when he 
stated that anyone possessing imagination would find out 
most of the wisdom that he would ever know by the time he 
was twenty/ 

The camp life held many hardships not the least being 
the extremes of heat and cold encountered at that altitude, 
for which a tent afforded very insufficient protection. Camp 
fever was prevalent. There were no comforts and many 
anxieties. 

* The separate diggings became more and more involved 
in one gigantic crater. According to the mining regulations 
a portion of every claim had to be left standing. These 
portions, respectively, lay to the right-hand side of one claim 
and the left of another. Together they formed roadways 
running right across the mine. There were, I think, four- 
teen such roadways. They ran parallel with each other, and 
provided, for a time, access to every claim from the edge of 
the mine. There were, so far, no laws regulating the diamond 
trade, so a swarm of itinerant diamond buyers were let loose 
on the community. Many of these were young men who 
were averse to manual labour, but whose business instincts 
were acute. " Kopje-Wallopers " was the generic term by 
which such dealers were known. The equipment of a 
" kopje-walloper " consisted of a cheque-book, a wallet 
known as a " poverty bag " a set of scales, a magnifying 
glass, and a persuasive tongue. In the course of a morning 
one's sorting table might be visited by a dozen of them. 
Naturally enough they tried to make the best bargain 
circumstances permitted, but on the whole their dealings 
appeared to be fair enough.' * 

The diggings around Colesberg Kopje had been called 
* Vooruitzigt ' ; but the diggers, deeming this name unpro- 
nounceable, called it ' New Rush.' This Lord Kimberley, 
then Colonial Secretary, decided was too c rowdy,' and it 
1 Scully : Reminiscences of a South African Pioneer. 



THE BEGINNING or THE ADVENTURE 25 

was therefore officially christened * Kimberley.' Sir Richard 
Southey was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Griqualand 
West, and Mr. J. B. Carrey Government Secretary, both of 
whom sympathised with Rhodes the young digger and shared 
his dreams of future colonial expansion. ' Politics were apt 
to be volcanic in those early days, for the turbulent diggers 
had many real or fancied grievances, which they were 
inclined to redress by rioting and rough attempts at mob 
justice ; and at one time the military had to be called in to 
quell them. Diamond thieves and illicit diamond buyers 
(I.D.B.) were the chief causes of grievance ; but the mob 
sometimes showed some sense of fairness. The house of a 
butcher, suspected of diamond thefts, was burned to the 
ground ; but when the mob discovered that he was innocent 
the hat was sent round and ample means collected to restore 
the property.' * 

The diamond industry showed extraordinary vitality in 
spite of all drawbacks, including constant falls in the claim 
walls. Roods were not unknown, though droughts were 
more frequent. Supplies brought up by ox-waggon were 
often two months on the road and on arrival were sold at 
fabulous prices. Scully relates having seen a pound of fresh 
butter sold for 17s. 6d. and a head of cabbage for 35s. 

Soon after Frank's arrival Cecil was ill. He suffered a 
slight heart attack, one of many that were to follow in the 
future, and it was this trouble which finally brought his life 
to a premature end. On this occasion it was probably due 
to overwork under trying conditions and it alarmed his 
brothers a good deal. As a result of this he and Herbert, 
borrowing a waggon and a span of oxen from Mr. Scully 
(afterwards a member of the Cape Civil Service), trekked off 
toward the north, leaving Frank under Rudd's care in 
charge of the claims. 

Journeying by the native town of Taungs and on to 
Zeerust, then to Marabastad not far from the low country, 
they passed through a land covered with rich-looking grass 
dotted at wide intervals with the small white homesteads 

.1 Williams. 



26 EHODES : A LIFE 

of the Boer voor-trekkers, a vast and untamed country. 
Here Rhodes had his first chance to meet on friendly terms 
the Dutch, whose sterling qualities as colonists he ever 
afterwards recognised. On the stoep of an evening over 
coffee, Rhodes would sit and chat with the slow, wise 
men, who some years before had trekked off into the un- 
known country to the north of any settlement, equally 
placid and undeterred in the face of wild beasts and hostile 
tribes. 

For several months he travelled thus, and it is certain 
that Rhodes had a great deal of time to think, as he rode or 
trudged ahead of the waggon damnably English dream- 
ing of Empires. 

Those who were with him in the early days believe that 
this trip to the north had a very marked effect in crystal- 
lising his dreams, which until then had been vague and 
nebulous. On this journey he drew up his first will one 
of the most extraordinary documents ever conceived and 
written by a young man. By it he left the wealth of which 
he was to die possessed to the Secretary of State for the 
Colonies, in trust for the extension of the British Empire. 
This shows us that already he regarded his life as dedicated 
to one great purpose ; a purpose he had evolved for himself 
either in the rush of seeking for diamonds or in the silences 
of the veld. This purpose was sufficiently big to need all 
his immense powers of concentration ; practical enough to 
satisfy his common sense, and yet containing an element 
which did not depend on chance, but on his own efforts to 
bring it to fruition. 

On this earliest journey towards that north to which his 
thoughts turned all his life, the spell of Africa was laid on 
Rhodes, shaping him in these days of his youth, just as in 
the time to come he moulded Africa to the form of his 
dreams. 

Before Herbert and Cecil reached Marabastad many of the 
miners, growing despondent over the future of those diggings, 
had trekked on to Lydenburg, where there had been further 
finds of payable quartz. But though the brothers did not 



THE BEGINNING OF THE ADVENTURE 27 

find the gold they had hoped for, it was on this journey that 
Cecil realised how deeply the seeds of that future racial 
trouble, which was to have so great an effect on his whole 
life, had already been planted ; for bitter quarrels and 
jealousies had occurred even among the small community 
gathered at Marabastad. It is significant that Thomas 
Baines tells us the Committee of Diggers laid down as its 
first resolution, ' That all business and correspondence be 
conducted in English.' 

Herbert and Cecil returned to Kimberley with a pretty 
thorough knowledge of the settlers in the Northern Transvaal, 
and a badly damaged waggon. In regard to the latter, we 
hear of Cecil playing euchre with Scully, one on each side of 
the meal sack which was their table, to decide if 25 or 30 
should be paid for it. Rhodes lost the game. 

Scully describes Herbert Rhodes as ' a tall, lean, hatchet- 
faced man a restless being a stormy petrel ever on the 
wing seeking adventure.' And he tells us that Cecil had a 
rusty black pony named * Bandersnatch ' and e one of 
the strangest-looking dogs I ever saw. It had no vestige of 
a tail, and generally bore a strong resemblance to an 
exaggerated guinea-pig.' 

In this life of hardships and excitement Rhodes had not 
forgotten his determination to go to Oxford, and his early 
longing to become a barrister. In 1873 he went to England, 
leaving Rudd in charge of the claims, since Herbert had gone 
north again. Before leaving, Rhodes made some careful 
investments both in diamonds and in new claims. Frank 
returned at the same time to take up his Commission in the 
Cavalry. On board the boat he was travelling in there was 
among the passengers a young man some six or seven years 
older than Rhodes who, being something of a bully, had 
made himself most unpopular, and one day while Rhodes was 
at his studies he came up and kicked the book he was reading 
from his hands. Up jumped Rhodes and attacked him. 
The fight waxed furious, and a ring was quickly formed. 
Full five minutes passed and neither could claim victory, 
when the Captain appeared on the scene and ordered two 



28 EHODES : A LIFE 

quartermasters to separate them. Rhodes was furious and 
tackled the Captain vigorously. 'Why should you come 
interfering in my diversions ? ' he called out ; e I protest most 
strongly. It is a most unwarrantable interference on your 
part. I won't have it.' But the Captain's law held good 
and the fight was at an end. There was, however, no more 
bullying for the rest of the voyage. 

On his arrival Cecil at once got into touch with certain 
Oxford friends of his father's, so that he might have good 
advice and get his name put down for the most suitable 
college, his desire being to lose no time whatsoever over the 
attainment of his object. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE UNDERGRADUATE 
1873-1881 

RHODES wished to go to University College ; but when the 
Master, G. G. Bradley, heard that he had no time to read 
for full Honours, and only intended to take a Pass Degree, 
he informed Tnm * that he could not see his way to enter Trim 
on the books of his college, but was willing to give him an 
introduction to the Provost of Oriel, where ' they were less 
particular in this respect.* The result of this conversation 
was that Rhodes went to Oriel, where he matriculated during 
the Michaelmas term ; and it was to Oriel that he left 
100,000 when he died. It is interesting to remember that 
more than three centuries before, Oriel had been the college 
of another great Empire builder Sir Walter Raleigh, the 
pioneer of British Colonial Empire ; so this college can claim 
to have inspired two of the greatest Empire builders in our 
history. As will be seen later, Rhodes became deeply attached 
to Oriel and was able amply to repay all it did for him. 

Soon after his arrival in England, Rhodes wrote the 
following letter to Dr. Sutherland, who was still at Durban. 

BISHOP'S STORTFOBD, HERTS. 

ENGLAND. 

My dear Dr. Sutherland, 1 You will wonder who is writing 
you from the above direction. I have no doubt you have 
almost forgotten my existence, and you may be sure that I 
only write to bother you in some way or other. I have asked 
my agent on the Fields to send you any money that arises 

* Michell. 



30 RHODES : A LIFE 

from my diamond claims at Colesberg Kopje, and I want to 
ask you whether you would mind investing it for me in 
Natal. I prefer railway shares, and 18 or even 19 would 
not be too much, but if you will be kind enough to take the 
trouble for one of your old emigrants, I feel I cannot do better 
than leave it to your discretion. ... I prefer putting any 
money I may derive now from my claims out in the Colony, 
as the interest is better and it saves the expense of sending 
home. 

As to my brother's farm in the Umkomaas, I think he 
did very wisely not to drop any more money down it. I have 
now a farm of 3000 acres in the Transvaal which is no earthly 
good and only sunk money. We also own that farm of Major 
DartnelTs. I suppose there would be no chance of exchanging 
for a farm near the coal districts ? Is it too late ? I have 
told Lauder to send you down my money as he makes it, 
unless, of course, you refuse to trouble. 

I am rather sorry now all the money I made I brought 
home to England ; for one puts it out at such low interest, 
as high interest here is another name for ' smash.' 

I go up to Oxford next week. Whether I become the 
village parson, which you sometimes imagined me as, 
remains to be proved. I am afraid my constitution received 
too much of what they call the lust of the flesh at the diamond 
fields to render that result possible ! 

Frank is in a Cavalry regiment and I have another brother 
who has just got into the Engineers, so that we are fast 
becoming a military family. Whether I shall follow their 
example remains to be proved. 

I hope Mrs. Sutherland and the children are all quite well. 
Do your boys still gallop to school every day ? I suppose 
you have not been down to the Umkomaas lately ? 

I hear Dr. Gallaway is coming home. I very much want 
to see him if he does. However, I shall be sure to see his 
arrival in the papers. Yours truly, ^ j T> HOI)Bg 

This is interesting, showing, as it does, that Rhodes was 
still undecided about his immediate career, and that he had 



THE UNDERGRADUATE 31 

not entirely abandonsd the idea of the Church. It is also 
apparent that he was investing money with much care and 
foresight, and was already on the way to becoming a landed 
proprietor, evidently realising that the right thing was to 
secure any holdings of this sort near a mineralised part of 
the country. 

Towards the end of this year, 1873, Rhodes sustained his 
first great grief. His mother died. At this time also his 
father was in poor health and was staying at Woodhall Spa, 
taking the cure. Here Rhodes visited him and ' rather 
surprised other visitors by presenting some of them with 
uncut diamonds, which he carried in his waistcoat pocket ! ' 1 

It is easy to imagine how content Rhodes must now have 
been. He had gained the first stage of the plan he formulated 
when he was in Natal namely, of going to Oxford without 
outside assistance. But as if further to test his already 
great powers of endurance, fate tried to snatch from him 
what he had already gained. In the same year he caught a 
very severe chill rowing on the river, which for a time post- 
poned the taking up of the career for which he had waited 
so long. So serious was this second failure of his health that 
few of his friends thought he could recover. He went 
straight back to Kimberley early in 1874, where he at once 
grew stronger ; and before long was again speculating in 
claims with redoubled energy. 

Rhodes had always a great affection for Kimberley for 
many reasons, not the least of which was that when his life 
was despaired of, it was there given back to him. 

But two years elapsed before he was strong enough to 
return to the University, and even then it was not considered 
wise for him to winter in England. Not only ill-health 
interrupted his Oxford life ; but often the want of means, 
and the financial enterprises on which he was engaged in 
Kimberley. Nothing but unwavering determination in the 
face of tremendous obstacles enabled him to finish the task 
that he had set himself. 

Erom 1875 until 1881 he lived an amazingly curious 

1 Michell. 



32 RHODES : A LIFE 

double life, when possible keeping the summer terms at 
Oxford, and spending the rest of the year in Kimberley, 
where he had already begun to strive for a monopoly of the 
diamond industry. His letters at this time, written from 
Oxford, show an unusual blending of the frank, boyish youth, . 
and the cautious, far-seeing business man a further example 
of the two opposing sides of Rhodes's character, without 
which he could not have lived with equal intensity the life 
of a student and that of a digger. 

' My Dons and I have had some tremendous skirmishes/ l 
writes Rhodes to his Kimberley partner, C. D. Rudd. ' I was 
nearly caught going to Epsom ; but still I do not think that 
I shall be sent down. The change at first was rather odd . . . ' 
And then, ' I would say in conclusion, do not plunge for much 
more at the Fields. We have a sufficient block at De Beers 
to make a fortune if diamonds last, and have enough property 
in Kimberley. If we make more money I would sooner say 
lend it, or go in for a nest egg at home, and by all means try 
and spare me for two years, and you will find I shall be twice 
as good a speculator with a profession at my back. I will 
be reading hard all the summer. If you want more pumps, 
say so, but I have gone over in my mind all the pumps, and, 
barring a stronger pump to drive with wire in gorges, I cannot 
think where it is needed. They are expensive things ; the 
tenders for 5000 gallons to 250 ft. with gear, etc., have been 
115 and 140, which means about 230 up at the Fields.' 

A friend says of Rhodes : * I went with him to a wine, 
and was amused to notice how much older in manner the 
other undergraduates were than Rhodes. They were full 
of that spurious wisdom assumed by many young men as a 
defensive armour, an armour he did not require.' a 

Although he died many times a millionaire purely as a 
result of his own efforts, in college days his circumstances 
were more straitened than those of most undergraduates, 
because he needed money, not only to keep his terms, but 
also for buying up new properties in Kimberley, and fresh 
gear for the better working of those he had. So pressed was 
iColvin. 'MichelL 



THE UNDERGRADUATE 33 

he for money that he was forced to practise the strictest 
economy during vacation. 

Another early letter to Rudd says : * I wake up fancying 
myself meeting various little bits of paper ranging over four 
or five months with my blessed signature at the bottom. . . . 
I had not a sixpence and do not like to bother my father. 
People in England are so blastedly suspicious, they also 
charge four per cent, for drafts/ * 

Rhodes took no very active part in University life. His 
friends were mostly quiet, serious men, fond of discussing 
politics, economics, and the current affairs of the day. 
Rhodes was one of the greatest talkers in this set, and even 
at this time he had evolved the habit, so characteristic of 
his after-dinner conversations in later years, of bringing 
forward for discussion some phrase from the classics which 
had interested him ; and he would peremptorily insist that 
all the company should discuss this from Ms own and every 
possible point of view. It is certain that these early debates 
did much to help him to the gift of seeing all round a con- 
troversial point, which became one of his most remarkable 
traits. c This habit of starting a debate, even with the most 
unsympathetic audience, on a subject or phrase which hap- 
pened to seize his attention for the moment persisted 
throughout his life : it often wearied those who could not 
see his drift, but he found it most useful in clearing his own 
nind, and making certain that he had grasped an idea in all 
ts bearings before he acted upon it. He was indeed some- 
what apart even from the men in his own set. He was older 
;han most of them, had not been to one of the regular public 
ichools as they generally had, possessed far more acquaint- 
ance with life than any of them, and had queer unconven- 
ionaJ ways. He would suddenly bring out a pocketful of 
liamonds to induce a man to join him in Kimberley, and 
ie had a disconcerting way of impressing his creed of hard 
rork on people. " Shouldn't do that," he said to a friend 
pho expressed a desire to make his living by writing, " it's 
Lot a man's work mere loafing. Every man should have 

1 Williams. 
M.O.B. o 



34 RHODES : A LIFE 

active work in life." ' * Despite many lasting friendships 
made at Oxford, Rhodes remained *a shy and solitary 
spirit. 5 Among those whom he met at Oxford and saw 
much of in later life were Lord Miner, Sir Charles Metcalf e, 
and Rochfort Maguire. 

Rhodes's health did not allow hi to take any very active 
part in sport ; but he was fond of rowing and tried to play 
polo, at which he was not a success. Michell relates that 
during the winter of 1876 Rhodes was Master of the Oxford 
Drag Hunt, ' a quaint appointment, bearing in mind that 
he rode always with a loose rein, and had an eminently 
unsafe seat in the saddle.' One of his friends still remembers 
the infliction suffered by Rhodes's neighbours due to his 
sitting up late of nights practising on the horn in order to 
acquit himself with credit in his new part. 

Rhodes the Undergraduate must, however, have been 
chiefly occupied with serious thoughts and aims ; and so 
simply and steadfastly did he apply himself to these that 
his friends of that time, though indulging in mild chaff, 
particularly at his unconventional ways, took his views in 
all seriousness. In several Rhodes stirred the spirit of 
romance, the longing to adventure where he had already 
travelled, and to penetrate into regions still almost unknown. 

On his voyages to and from South Africa Rhodes studied 
hard ; and even in the intervals of his financial business at 
Kimberley he found time to get up the knowledge he required. 
On one occasion he travelled by post cart with General 
Warren for some days. The latter's curiosity was aroused 
by the younger man's diligent study of the Prayer Book, 
but Rhodes explained that he was learning the * Thirty-nine 
Articles ' for his aext examination, and he continued his 
studies, heedless of the jolting of the post cart. 

Rhodes was an omnivorous reader of history, both ancient 
and modern. He studied and deeply pondered the lives of 
the old Roman Emperors, with whom it is thought he felt 
a spiritual bond. Marcus Aurelius was one of his favourite 
authors, of whose work on philosophy he always had a small 

i Williams. 



THE UNDERGRADUATE 35 

volume, copiously marked, in his pocket ; whilst he almost 
invariably carried with hi one volume of Gibbon's Decline 
and Fall. A favourite quotation of his own from Gibbon 
was, ' Everyone has two educations : one which he receives 
from others, and one, the more important, which he gives 
himself.' 

One night at his farm in the Matopos, sitting under the 
stars, he was talking after dinner to Lady Grey, who had 
come out with her husband to stay over the week end, and 
some discussion arose over Gibbon's works. Rhodes said : 
* The Decline and Fall is superb in its diction, and I cannot 
understand how Gibbon could say as he did in his later life : 
"To the University of Oxford I acknowledge no obliga- 
tion ; and she will as cheerfully renounce me for a son as I 
am willing to disclaim her for a mother. I spent fourteen 
months at Magdalen College ; they proved the fourteen 
most idle and unprofitable months of my whole life." ' 
c Gibbon,' Rhodes went on, c had far more to thank Oxford 
for than he thought. No thinker such as he could escape 
her compelling influences, her wonderful charm. Idle he 
may have thought himself to be, but all unaware he was 
absorbing that glorious spirit which he afterwards gave us.' 

Every book he could get hold of which touched on the 
history of Africa he read eagerly. * It is rather astonishing,' 
he said, ' how much one can absorb by reading.' Novels he 
rarely looked at, but in his later days when he found it hard 
to sleep he used to skim through a few, and was so struck 
with one called The Ghoir Invisible, by James Lane Allen, that 
he read it twice ; Thackeray's Esmond he also read twice. 

I remember him taking away a book Annals of the Dis- 
ruption of the Scottish Church in 184,8 from my bookshelves 
and reading it with avidity and then discussing its contents 
for several nights at our camp fire. His sympathies were 
entirely with the ' Seceders.' 

In the beginning of 1877, W. T. Stead tells us that Rhodes 
wrote a draft of ' Some of my Ideas,' a curious document in 
its way, showing evidences of deep thinking, but full of a 
boyish spirit which was always a characteristic of Rhodes. 



36 RHODES : A LIFE 

This holograph shows how he was gradually feeling his 
way towards the development of the dreams and ideals 
that possessed him, and that he had practically found the 
objective for which he had been seeking. 

c It often strikes a man/ says the youth of twenty-four, 
* to enquire what is the chief good in life. To one the thought 
comes that it is a happy marriage, to another great wealth, 
to a third travel, and so on ; and as each seizes the idea, he 
more or less works for its attainment for the rest of his 
existence. To myself, thinking over the same question, the 
wish came to render myself useful to my country.' In this 
last sentence we have the ideal which Ehodes set before 
himself and followed whole-heartedly and undeviatingly all 
through the rest of his life. 

He continues : c I contend that we are the first race in the 
world, and that the more of the world we inhabit, the better 
it is for the human race. I contend that every acre added 
to our territory provides for the birth of more of the English 
race, who otherwise would not be brought into existence. 
Added to which the absorption of the greater portion of the 
world under our rule simply means the end of all wars.' 

When at Oxford Rhodes fortunately came under the 
influence of John Buskin, and the powerful and purposeful 
lectures of that great man made a deep impression on him 
and helped him very greatly during a period of some in- 
decision to lay down a definite course regarding the policy 
of Imperial expansion in South Africa which was rapidly 
developing in his mind. In one notable lecture delivered 
at Oxford Ruskin said : * There is a destiny now possible 
to us, the highest ever set before a nation to be accepted or 
refused. Will you youths of England make your country 
again a royal throne of kings ; a sceptred isle, for all the 
world a source of light, a centre of peace ; mistress of learning 
and of the arts, faithful guardian of time-tried principles, 
under temptation from fond experiment and licentious 
desires ; and amidst the cruel and clamorous jealousies of 
the nations worshipped in her strange valour, of good will 
towards men ? This is what England must either do or 



THE UNDERGRADUATE 37 

perish. She must found colonies as fast and as far as she is 
able, formed of her most energetic and worthiest men ; 
seizing any piece of fruitful waste ground she can set her foot 
on, and there teaching her colonists that their chief virtue is 
to be fidelity to their country, and that their first aim is to 
be to advance the power of England by land and sea. . . . 
There are men who will plough and sow for her, who will 
behave kindly and righteously for her, and who will bring 
their children to love her, and who will gladden themselves 
in her glory more than in all the light of tropical skies. You 
think it is an impossible ideal. Be it so ; refuse to accept 
it if you will ; but see that you form your own in its stead. 
All that I ask of you is to have a fixed purpose of some kind 
for your country and for yourselves, no matter how restricted, 
so that it be fixed and unselfish.' 

Rhodes held that these words, which he listened to with 
breathless interest, were one of his greatest possessions, and 
among his papers there is in his handwriting a rough jotting 
of thoughts evidently induced thereby. ' You have instincts, 
religion, love, money-making, ambition, art and creation, 
which from a human point of view I think the best, but if 
you differ from me, think it over, and work with all your 
soul for that instinct you deem the best. C. J. Rhodes.' 

Even in very early days, the charity of Rhodes was 
remarkable. All of bis friends can recall many instances of 
his generosity, but none know all of them. He loved to do 
good by stealth ; but this was not always possible. Sir 
Lewis Michell quotes a letter to Dr. Sutherland, evidently in 
answer to an appeal for the Church, in which Rhodes writes : 

* I am not a great believer in churches or Church pur- 
poses, in fact am afraid that life ... on the diamond fields 
has not tended to strengthen my religious principles. 

c There was a man who came out with me named Williams, 
a second-class passenger on the Asiatic. He went on to 
Natal very bad with consumption and hard up : no friends : 
packed off from England to die abroad. If he is not dead, 
please give hi the balance. If he is dead, take it for the 
Church. I fear he is dead by this time. ... If you could 



38 RHODES : A LIFE 

manage by any means to send him to the Free State, I would 
pay the further expense.' This letter shows how definitely 
now Rhodes had decided not to enter the Church. Also that, 
while professing to have no religious principles, he carried 
out the Christian teaching all his life. 

In 1876 he became a student of the Inner Temple, though 
he was never formally called to the Bar. In writing to Rudd 
an explanation of his decision to eat dinners at the Temple, 
he says : ' On a calm review of the preceding year, I find that 
3000 has been lost, because, owing to my having no profes- 
sion, I lacked pluck on three occasions through fearing that 
one might lose ; and I had nothing to fall back on in the 

shape of a profession I am slightly too cautious now. . . . 

I will be reading hard all the summer.' l His reference to 
lacking pluck is curious. If it was true of Rhodes at this 
time, the defect disappeared completely from his character as 
he developed. I am inclined to attribute it merely to a 
realisation of the foresight needed to conquer difficulties the 
same trait which kept him cotton growing until he had assured 
himself that diamond digging had a safe future. Rashness 
may often be cowardice the refusal to look dangers in the 
face ; and caution, the deliberate facing of those dangers, 
true courage. 

Rhodes became a Freemason in 1877, and he retained an 
interest in Masonry all his life. 

During his time at Oxford * Rhodes lost some of the 
hardness and cynicism which his friends had deplored when 
he first came up. His judgments were now more tolerant, 
and his opinion of his fellow-man which, as we know, had 
not been very high had greatly improved. In common with 
most University men, he had been insensibly moulded by 
the freedom of the life of an undergraduate, the traditions 
of fastidious scholarship, the exact search after truth, and 
the interminable discussions wherein generation after genera- 
tion of Oxford men renew the investigation of common 
beliefs in politics, religion and morals, and constantly bring 
currents of fresh air into the nation's creeds.' 2 
i Williams. 'Michell. 



THE UNDERGRADUATE 39 

He always felt that he owed an obligation to Oxford, and 
he repaid that obligation royally. All through his life he 
welcomed with great kindness any Oxford men who visited 
South Africa ; and by his Will he did his utmost to draw to 
Oxford young men from the furthest boundaries of the 
English-speaking world. 

He took his Degree in 1881, and returned at once to 
Eomberley, where he began to consolidate the foundations 
he had begun to lay for the better building of the Empire 
of hia dreams. 



CHAPTER V 

THE FOUNDATION OF GREATNESS 
1874-1881 

IN the course of his dual life at Oxford, and at the Kimberley 
diggings, Rhodes had grasped two enormously important 
facts : the necessity of sufficient money with which to carry 
through his huge schemes ; and the importance to him of 
political power in the Administration of South Africa. As 
Rhodes himself explained, 'If one has ideas, one cannot 
carry them out without having wealth at one's back. 5 Thus 
the gaining of wealth and power became necessary merely 
as a prelude to his great ambition the extension of the 
British Empire, and all the higher civilisation which that 
Empire meant, over the last unoccupied territory of the 
world. 

Rhodes did not care at all for money, as money. He 
lived far more simply even after he had made himself a 
millionaire than did many others in his employ ; but he 
early recognised that without means he could only remain 
an unpractical dreamer. Without money he would only be 
able to plan what other men of greater wealth would carry 
out. He therefore set himself to the task of making a fortune 
in the shortest possible time, and before he left Oxford he 
had decided on a political career. 

When Rhodes first returned to Kimberley from Oxford 
in 1874, the De Beers mine had been badly flooded and the 
owners advertised calling for tenders for raising the water. 
Rhodes and Rudd, in partnership with a practical engineer 
named Alderson, sent in a quotation for pumping the mine 
dry, which was accepted. 

40 



THE FOUNDATION OF GREATNESS 41 

However, there were still many difficulties in the way of 
the actual work, for, although Rhodes and Alderson went 
down to the Colony at once to buy up the required pumps 
and engines, Kimberley was still three hundred miles from 
the railway, it was the wet season, and there was much 
unavoidable delay in bringing up the machinery. This 
naturally annoyed the De Beers owners, who became 
exceedingly impatient. 

Hawkins recalls how he was asked by Rhodes to go with 
him to a meeting of the De Beers Mining Board. ' I have 
never forgotten/ he writes, ' the way in which he (Rhodes), 
still quite a youth, handled that body of angry men and 
gained his point, an extension of time.' x 

By paying transport riders very heavy rates, and in one 
case buying up some teams of oxen, the plant was hauled 
to the mines over flooded rivers and rain-sodden veld, and 
the partners were soon engaged in pumping under a very 
satisfactory contract. But even then the work did not go 
smoothly. The plant that had been secured was second and 
third hand and was much knocked about, often breaking 
down, and the necessary fuel was a matter of never-ending 
trouble. Rhodes, always an early riser, used to mount his 
pony frequently before dawn and ride out to meet the heavy 
waggons of wood coal being then unprocurable that were 
being brought into the Kimberley market by Boer farmers 
from Barkly West, Kuruman, and as far off as Potchef stroom 
and Mafeking. Generally, he was able to secure his require- 
ments before most of his competitors were out of bed. 
" On one occasion the absentmindedness of Rhodes was 
responsible for wrecking their plant. The work, which was 
now done principally at night, was supervised by one of 
the partners in turn, while the other, from the edge of the 
crater, watched the removal of the debris enabling the water 
to flow off without hindrance and danger to the open 
workings. Rudd relates that on one occasion when he was 
at his post, at the edge of the crater, he saw Rhodes for 
the time being engineman walking up and down abstractedly 

1 MichelL 



42 RHODES: A LIFE 

as was often the case. The night was calm and beautiful 
until a tremendous explosion occurred. The boiler had burst, 
damaging the engine seriously, owing to the fact that Rhodes 
had forgotten to supply it with water ! This upset operations, 
and the partners were at their wits' end as to how to 
replace the damaged machinery. One day Rhodes heard 
that a farmer named Devenish who had a place close to 
Beaufort West on the Karroo, had recently brought out from 
England a pumping plant of suitable capacity for the work 
his firm had to carry out. Without a moment's delay 
Rhodes secured six mules and a Cape-cart, and set off on 
the long weary journey through the Karroo to Beaufort 
West which was then the railway terminus intending to 
buy the plant. He pushed his mules hard, and telling 
the story himself arrived there after eight days' trekking, 
which was wonderful work for a single team. At once he 
made for Mr. Devenish's house ; but the farmer declined 
to deal, stating that he had purchased the machinery for 
special work ; that it had taken a long time to get up to his 
place ; and that it would be extremely foolish of him to 
dispose of it. 

' But,' said Rhodes, c I will pay you a handsome profit, 
and you can order another lot. You are not using this now, 
and it has been lying in your shed for some months.' 

* That may be,' said Mr. Devenish, ' but I am not going 
to sell.' 

c Think it over,' said Rhodes, * I will come back.' 

* It's no good,' said the farmer, ' I will not alter my mind.' 
For some days this went on, during which time they got 

on good terms with each other, and discussed various matters 
of passing interest. Rhodes was asked frequently to the 
house for meals and to drink coffee. He was soon on very 
friendly terms with the motherly Mrs. Devenish, who took 
a kindly interest in his doings, particulars of which she had 
drawn from him, and she soon became a strong advocate 
on his behalf, urging her husband to yield over the matter 
in question. In the end Mr. Devenish gave way with the 
remark, * The pair of you are making my life a misery take 



THE FOUNDATION OP GREATNESS 43 

the plant and be off with you : but I will make you pay me 
a stiff price for all the worry you have given me over it/ 

Rhodes, however, would have paid double the figure 
asked, which was after all a very fair one ; for he felt that 
if he and his partners failed in their contract their reputations 
would suffer to such an extent as to damage any future 
business for which they might tender. 

'I may tell you/ said Rhodes, when the matter was 
arranged, ' that I meant to stay and keep at you till I got 
your plant.' 

The machinery was promptly put on the waggon, which 
Rhodes had secured in anticipation of success, and rushed 
on to Kimberley with a satisfactory result, and the partners 
after all were able to fulfil the undertaking they had given. 

At this time Rhodes was living in a cottage near the dub 
with Neville Pickering, with whom he had become very 
friendly and who was at one time named as one of his 
trustees. Rochfort Maguire had followed Rhodes from 
Oxford, and Sir Charles Metcalf e came out to build railways 
some time later ; and Rhodes saw a great deal of those 
lifelong friends in these early Kimberley days. Among his 
few other Mends was Alfred Beit, a Jew from Hamburg and 
one of the shrewdest financiers of his time in South Africa. 
Very soon after his arrival in Kimberley he became 
associated with Rhodes and Rudd, and soon found himself 
under the spell of the former. 

Rhodes never tried to create friends, but there were certain 
men he was fond of. Perhaps he cared most for Neville 
Pickering ; Jameson probably came next. Undoubtedly 
Alfred Beit was third, and Beit loved Rhodes. Their trust 
in each other was remarkable ; each opened his soul to the 
other. It was a pleasure to see them together the active- 
moving little Jew and the big rather lumbering Christian. 
They chaffed one another unmercifully, they had their 
simple enjoyments together, they seriously discussed the 
vast number of deals, small and big, they were engaged over, 
and both cursed Rudd because his stomach was so weak, 
which enabled him to escape having to drink his share of 



44 KHODES : A LIFE 

cases of the vilest champagne ! ' Every deal we made/ Beit 
said to me once, ' had to be sealed with a small or a big 
bottle of champagne. It was the custom and we couldn't 
evade it. Rudd's stomach couldn't face it, so we kept him 
in the office and it fell to Rhodes and me to suffer. We're 
paying for it now, but if we'd failed, Barnato was waiting 
round the corner for our man.' Long after Beit had made 
a great fortune he remained in Kimberley, which he never 
liked, purely for love of Rhodes and so that he might help 
him through with his many great projects. Rhodes fully 
realised the self-sacrifice Beit was making on his behalf 
and very keenly appreciated it. e Beit,' he said to me once, 
"possessed the most generous spirit and kindliest soul of 
any man I ever knew.' 

Oddly enough, the ship on which in 1873 Rhodes had 
travelled to England had passed in Mid-Atlantic an outgoing 
ship which had among her steerage passengers Barnett 
Isaacs, the son of a little shopkeeper in Whitechapel. 
Barnett Isaacs, or Barney Barnato, as he called himself 
when he arrived at Kimberley with a capital of thirty pounds 
and some boxes of doubtful cigars, at first pursued the pro- 
fession of ' kopje-walloper.' He had plenty of pluck and 
keen business instincts. ' There is nothing,' he said once, 
'this country produces that I have not traded in, from 
diamonds and gold right away through feathers, wool and 
mealies to garden vegetables.' l Barney went into partnership 
with an elder brother, and the two worked day and night 
with the industry of their race to make enough money to 
enable them to undertake large operations. Barney Barnato 
was destined to become Rhodes's greatest rival in the buying 
up of mining claims. 

In 1875 the idea of the amalgamation of the mines first 
occurred to Rhodes. 2 In order to pay their way diggers had 
to produce and throw on a weak market all the diamonds 
they could win. This unrestricted output depressed the 
market greatly ; and many, after a strenuous struggle, 
abandoned hope. Rhodes, Rudd, Beit, Barnato and a few 
*Colvin. 2 MicheU. 



THE FOUNDATION OF GREATNESS 45 

others recognised, not only the disease, but that the remedy 
lay in amalgamation and a consequent regulation of the 
supply. They began to lay their plans accordingly ; and 
Rhodes and Rudd bought up claims in various parts of the 
diggings, with the idea of one day obtaining a command of 
all the workings, a giant monopoly of the whole diamond 
industry of South Africa. 

All this time Rhodes kept his own counsel and went on 
with his usual work. While he strove to obtain the command 
of the diamond mines, unnoticed by the world of men around 
him, his inner life of thought went on : and the amalgama- 
tion of the mines was not the main theme of his long and 
solitary meditations. 

He was firmly convinced that South Africa would have 
a great future, but felt if she were to take the place she was 
entitled to among the other nations of the world, the dis- 
united entities then existing must be welded together into 
a coherent whole. c We must federate or perish,' he said, 
"and federated we will become an important unit of the 
British Empire.' 

He held firm to his resolve that for the well-being of the 
Colony the Boers whose worth as settlers he always 
appreciated should have equal rights with British colonists. 

In 1878, two years after he had retired from his parish of 
Bishop's Stortford and settled quietly at Fairlight near 
Hastings, Rhodes's father died and was buried at Fairlight. 

In this year also the lifelong friendship between Rhodes 
and Jameson was begun. Leander Starr Jameson, a young 
Scotsman, had come to South Africa apparently to enter into 
a partnership with Dr. Prince of Kimberley, but actually 
driven thither by a love of adventure. He was a man of 
brilliant brain and great personal attraction, and speedily 
made a name as a clever young physician. 

It has been mentioned that Rhodes had come to have a 
very great liking for Neville Pickering, but the latter, after 
a few years of ideal friendship with him, unfortunately 
contracted a fatal illness during which he was nursed 
assiduously by Rhodes, who brought Jameson to attend him. 



46 RHODES: A LIFE 

Nothing, however, availed, and Pickering gradually sank into 
an unconsciousness from which he never rallied. His death 
was probably felt by Rhodes as the greatest blow he had 
sustained after the loss of his mother, and it took "him years 
to get over it. To the last day of his life the sunny tempera- 
ment of Neville Pickering was always a happy memory to 
Rhodes, and it was while attending Pickering in his illness 
that the great affection between Rhodes and Jameson was 
founded. Through all the years which followed this friend- 
ship never wavered, in spite of many untoward vicissitudes 
and occasional misunderstandings and disappointments. 
' Jameson,' said Rhodes, * knows his mind and is not afraid 
to act. He may go rather fast at times, but if it is a fault it 
is a good one.' This was said some years before the Raid. 

To Jameson, Rhodes early confided all his dreams : the 
necessity of wealth, which he hoped to gain from the amal- 
gamation of the mines, and the need for political power in 
order to further his great idea of Imperial expansion ; and 
we are told that Jameson gradually came to feel the spell of 
Rhodes's personality, until in time he ended by believing 
in the feasibility of an Africa c all red,' and in the power of 
Rhodes to bring it about. From that time, without ever 
looking back, Jameson was Rhodes's devoted lieutenant. 
He listened with awe and admiration to an explanation of 
the Africa of the future, which as yet existed only in his 
friend's imagination. 1 ' As stated to Jameson, Rhodes's first 
object was to occupy the hinterland of the Cape, and all the 
territory he could beyond ; to do this through the Cape 
Colony, and then gradually to effect the occupation of the 
North-East and the unification of South Africa, which he 
saw in the future as one great people possessed of full self- 
government, yet united to our other colonies as a loyal 
member of one vast Imperial factor. 

Since Rhodes was convinced that the British Empire was 
in the vanguard of human progress, he felt certain that the 
best thing that could befall a territory in the interests of 
humanity as well as of the human race was that it should 

i'Vindex.' 




SOUTH AFRICA IN 1882, WHEN RHODES BEGAN TO WORK 
TOWARDS THE HINTERLAND. 



THE FOUNDATION OF GREATNESS 47 

come under the British flag, and he contended with a good 
deal of reason that to paint red as much of the map as he 
could was, from a practical point of view, the truest philan- 
thropy a view which the natives who can compare British 
rule with that of other nations have unanimously endorsed. 

A vivid word-picture of Rhodes and Jameson in the 
one-storied corrugated-iron bungalow where they lived 
together after Pickering's death, is given us by Colvin, who 
has in a wonderful way caught the spirit of each, and knowing 
both men intimately as I did, I consider the following ima- 
ginary conversation would have been almost exactly as he 
sets it out, and I quote it at length. 

'Conceive then,' he writes, 'these two most firm and 
unceremonious of friends, in the intervals of business and of 
practice, late at night in their little sitting-room or early in 
the morning Rhodes shouting elemental truths at Jameson 
from his bath tub ; or in morning rides Rhodes sitting 
with a loose rein, neglectful of his horse, brooding over or 
reiterating his ideas, as a cave-man strikes a flint ; Jameson, 
sparing of speech, humorous, cynical, but a flint full of fire. 

* Conceive next, the sitting-room of the bungalow, the table 
after dinner, Jameson smoking his endless chain of cigarettes, 
Rhodes rolling in his chair like a whale in deep seas, reiterating 
brief statements a hundred times, not only feeling for the 
word he seemed to need, but for his hearer's assent like an 
elephant laboriously testing with foot and trunk the bridge 
on which he would trust his reasoning bulk. 

c The talk was of the North the North the North- 
Rhodes, as he used the word, always thrusting an arm 
upwards and outwards in a northerly direction to convey his 
idea of the vastness of the unknown that unclaimed 
Interior. Did Jameson realise that to the North, the great 
plateau of the African Continent continued up to the 
Equatorial Lakes, up to the Soudan cool under the Equator 
a country for white men ? Could Jameson imagine it, 
settled, like America, with homesteads and cities, and 
railways between them as big as the United States, as 
populous, and British from Cape to Cairo ? Had Jameson 



48 RHODES : A LIFE 

ever thought of the independence of the Thirteen Colonies 
which became the United States ? 

* Beyond an occasional mine manager or two, Jameson 
had not considered America. Well, in the North was some- 
thing to make up to England for these Thirteen lost Colonies. 

' Still Jameson was unmoved, possibly ribald, so Rhodes 
fought his way on. 

* No, it was not nonsense, but a practical idea. One had 
worked at it, one had gone some way already. Jameson 
knew what one had done. It was no laughing matter ! It 
was more important than his pills and pregnancies ! 

* Let Jameson fairly consider the case in all its bearings 
and then admit himself cornered. Let him consider it, for 
example, qua the federation of South Africa. The one 
question governed the other. 

' Jameson could see as far as that ? Obvious ! He who 
held the North, held " the balance of the map " " the 
balance of the map," and here Rhodes kept on repeating, for 
a minute or two, " the balance of the map " as one conscious 
of making a great point. 

* Did Jameson follow hi-m ? The federation of South 
Africa was the same as the amalgamation of the diamond 
mines ! Exactly. And to be approached in the same way. 
Carnarvon had tried to federate South Africa from outside 
just as Merriman had tried to amalgamate the mines from 
outside. They had both failed. For it was a thing to be 
done from inside step by step, a work of years. 

' One must appeal to the interests of men and one must 
hold the balance of what men wanted. One must hold the 
balance of the map. There was the secret. The North was 
the balance, the converted balance. Kruger wanted it 
Kruger was qua the Transvaal like Barnato qua the Kimber- 
ley mines Jameson realised that ? Kruger had his hobby. 
Everyone had his hobby.' 

About this time very distressing news was received by 
Rhodes from Central Africa in regard to a fatal accident 
that had befallen his brother Herbert, while on a hunting 
trip on the banks of the lower Shire River. By reason of 



THE FOUNDATION or GREATNESS 49 

the camp fire being lighted too near to his hut, the wind 
carried a spark to the grass roof, and Herbert Rhodes was 
literally burned alive before his natives could save him. 
Rhodes felt his death keenly, for Herbert and he had been 
greatly attached to each other, and from his elder brother he 
always said he had learned a lot. To him he said he owed 
much of the self-reliance he possessed, for from the first, in 
South Africa, Herbert had placed great responsibilities on 
hi which fortunately he had managed to carry through. 

At Kimberley, Graham, Stow and English now joined the 
Rhodes-Rudd partnership, and this group set to work quietly 
to buy up claims on all parts of the reef and thus secure a 
hold on all the diamond mines. 

The partners succeeded in buying up so many claims in 
addition to the De Beers' mine, that to provide the necessary 
capital for working them they founded in 1880 the De Beers 
Mining Company with a capital of 200,000. Once they only 
just missed gaining control of the whole Kimberley mine 
because they lacked 6000 necessary to make up the deal. 
We can imagine with what redoubled energy Rhodes worked 
to make up for the loss of such an opportunity. 

Being now well advanced towards gaining sufficient wealth 
to make tangible his dream of Imperial expansion, Rhodes 
decided to push on with the further foundation of his great 
scheme by entering the political world of South Africa. 

In October 1880 the district of Griqualand West, which 
had until then existed as a separate colony under a Lieutenant- 
Governor, was formally annexed to Cape Colony, and Rhodes 
was elected a member for Barkly West, near Kimberley, a 
seat that he held until his death. 

Rhodes was now twenty-eight years old, and already 
he had firmly laid the foundation of what, only ten years 
before, he had determined should be his purpose in life. 



M.O.B. 



CHAPTER VI 

POLICIES AND PERSONS 
1881-1883 

RHODES entered Parliament with the thought : * If possible 
to use my political power to obtain the balance of unclaimed 
country for the British Empire.' For him ' political success 
meant territorial and financial success ' 1 ; and throughout 
the whole of his parliamentary career he strove solely with 
that aim never once deviating from his purpose. 

His objects undoubtedly were the welfare of the British 
and Dutch settlers of South Africa, the good of the native 
races, the improvement of trade, and above all an extension 
of territory always with the hope of linking south and 
north under the British flag. Seldom, if ever, has any great 
man planned and striven so consistently for one definite 
goal as did Rhodes for the extension of our Empire in Africa. 
He wanted to work for this through the Cape Government, 
hoping to induce that government to look northward ; and 
for this reason he elected to remain an independent member 
and, for a time, watch events. 

One of many efforts made to persuade him to join one or 
other party in Parliament was met by the joking remark : 
' Don't try to bird-lime me on to a party stick ! ' 2 

Rhodes was introduced to the House by two influential 
members, Vintcent and Orpen. On his first appearance there 
he is described as ' A fine ruddy Englishman, a jovial-looking 
young squire.' His speech was bluff and untutored in style 
with no graces of oratory ; and one candid friend remarked 
that Rhodes would be a parliamentary failure. 

1 Oswald Spengler : The Decline of the West. Fuller. 

50 



POLICIES AND PERSONS 51 

Fuller describes him as 'A tall, broad-shouldered man 
with face and figure of somewhat loose formation. His hair 
was auburn, carelessly flung over his forehead, his eyes of 

bluish-grey, dreamy but kindly With deep lines following 

the curve of the moustache, his mouth had a determined, 
masterful, and somewhat scornful expression/ 

Jourdan, who at that time was Clerk of the Papers and 
later became Rhodes's private secretary, tells us : * He used 
to come to my room for a chat and was always asking me 
personal questions and urging me to learn shorthand ' ; and 
he also says that Rhodes was at times boyish to a degree and 
had a trick of sitting on his hand and laughing boisterously 
when amused. This boyish trait remained with him all his 
life and was strongly shown whenever he was able to get 
away for a trip on the veld. He could hit hard and delighted 
in the joy of combat ; but he never gave the House in those 
days an inkling of his great plans. No doubt he feared to 
alarm both parties. A few members predicted that he was 
likely to do big things, but none imagined how rapidly the 
young politician would rise to fame. 

Rhodes's rather unconventional garb at first scandalised 
the more conservative members of the House, whom, 
however, he reassured in characteristic fashion, saying that 
' he could legislate as well in tweeds as in sable clothing/ 1 
He referred on several occasions to members of the House 
by name, and the Speaker (Sir David Tennant), a dignified 
official, expostulated with hi in tones of anguish, and 
obtained a graceful apology. 

Rhodes bought an interest in the Cape Argus in order to 
feel satisfied that his speeches would always be reported ; 
but he never interfered with the trend of opinions expressed 
in this or any other paper in which he afterwards held shares. 

At Cape Town Rhodes made many friends. The new 
Governor, Sir Hercules Robinson, sympathised greatly with 
him in his wish to work through and with the Dutch colonists, 
and backed up Rhodes in his later schemes. The Imperial 
Secretary, Captain (later Sir) Graham Bower, R.N., quickly 

1 Williams. 



12 RHODES: A LIFE 

)ecame interested in the thoughtful young man who had 
nade such a name at Kimberley, as did Newton (now Sir 
Francis, High Commissioner for Rhodesia), who had been 
with Rhodes at Oxford and who was then the Governor's 
private secretary. 

Rhodes speedily collected a circle of friends, both old and 
new ; and very soon he was accepted by the farming and 
political society around the Cape in the unconventional 
fashion that he liked. All his life Rhodes revelled in talk and 
arguments, and of both he had a great amount in these days. 

In the political circle there was Sir John Molteno, a wealthy 
landed proprietor and farmer who, with little book knowledge, 
embodied the resolute character and energy of the successful 
colonist he spoke always with great vigour and a full 
knowledge of the material needs of the country. 

There was also Saul Solomon, who, in spite of a physical 
handicap, possessed an immense brain and was a most able 
speaker ; and John X. Merriman, who as we know had 
recognised Rhodes's abilities as being above the average in 
the early days of Kimberley, welcomed him to Cape Town 
with enthusiasm, and was one of the very few at that time 
to predict a great future for the young digger. 

There were also Schreiner and his mother, who became 
one of Rhodes's few women friends and to whom he wrote 
perhaps more letters than to any other woman save his 
mother. 

In the House he found outstanding men such as Sir 
Thomas Upington, Sir Thomas Scanlen, J. W. Sauer, Charles 
Leonard, and above all Jan H. Hofmeyr, whom Merriman 
had somewhat aptly nicknamed * The Mole,' and who was 
the recognised leader of the whole Dutch party with the 
exception of a few extremists. Rhodes and Hofmeyr agreed 
on many points and had many views in common. At their 
first meeting they laid the foundation of a lasting friendship, 
in regard to which Hofmeyr said : * ' The secret of the friend- 
ship was this : I found in Mr. Rhodes the true Englishman, 
but at the same time the man who could make allowances 

1 Williams. 



POLICIES AND PERSONS 53 

for true nationalism existing in other people. Also I remem- 
ber about the time we were introduced, the Transvaal War 
broke out, and Mr. Ehodes perhaps as it behoved Trim as 
an English an was all against the Boers and Transvaal 
independence. I was on the other side. Bat when the war 
was over we had a talk with one another, and I said, " It is 
an awful pity that the war broke out." I was surprised when 
Mr. Rhodes said, " No, it is not. I have quite changed my 
opinion. It is a good thing. It has made Englishmen 
respect Dutchmen and made them respect one another." 
Well, when an Englishman could speak like that to a Dutch- 
man, they are not far from making common cause with one 
another.' 

Rhodes spoke of Hofmeyr as the fairest opponent that he 
ever had. He had come to recognise the sterling worth of 
the Dutch and regarded them as fully equal with the British 
in South Africa, and realised that they must have their 
share in running the country ; but as he stated early in his 
parliamentary career, 'I have my own views as to the 
future of South Africa, and I believe in a United States of 
South Africa, but as a portion of the British Empire.' 

From the first day, therefore, his policy was to conciliate 
the Dutch party, while yet holding the balance between the 
settlers of both nations. Feeling that the Cape Government 
had not shown itself strong enough in adhering to any 
consistent policy in regard to the native territories, Rhodes 
was in favour of handing over the affairs of the natives in 
the extra-colonial parts of the country to the Imperial 
Government, who, he felt, were better fitted to grapple with 
the responsibilities involved. And this in spite of the fact 
that the Imperial Government were at this time determined 
not to allow any extension of our Empire in South Africa. 
Had it not been for Rhodes a man seized and gripped by 
the expansion theory our boundaries might have remained 
for ever south of the Vaal. 

Already he had decided that the Cape Colony must be 
induced to desire expansion ; and for this reason he set out 
to show that expansion was in the interests of the commerce 



54 RHODES : A LIFE 

of the whole country, since commerce appealed to Dutchmen 
and Britons alike. He wished the Cape Colony to develop 
the trade of the interior. 

The Dutch party, under the style of the Africander Bond, 
of which Hofmeyr was the leader, was established in 
1882, and while in sympathy with the Transvaal in the idea 
of Dutch supremacy, it was yet amenable to any appeal 
which would bring them greater prosperity and a larger 
market for their produce. This appeal Rhodes used skilfully 
and persistently to advance his plans. 

The year 1881 could scarcely have seemed a propitious 
time for anyone with a strong imperialistic policy to enter 
the Cape House of Assembly ; for when Ehodes took his 
seat the Premiership was in the hands of the weak and 
vacillating Sir Gordon Sprigg ; the English members of the 
House were smarting under the damage to British prestige 
resulting from our defeat at Majuba and the consequent 
surrender of the Transvaal to the Boers, who did not scruple 
to show their satisfaction ; while the Dutch, in addition to 
their old antipathy, had now a profound contempt for the 
British Government and the British Army. This defeat of 
our troops aroused the worst of racial feelings, from which 
South Africa has suffered ever since. 

As a direct result, a bill was introduced urging the advisa- 
bility of using the Dutch language in Parliament. Rhodes 
supported a motion brought forward by Sir Thomas Fuller 
postponing such a discussion until the next session, when it 
was hoped by all moderate members in the House that the 
keen edge of racial rivalry would be blunted. 

The British settlers in the Transvaal so bitterly resented 
the return of that country to the Dutch and a consequent 
forfeiture of their enfranchisement rights in the territory, 
that, had it not been for a vigorous change of policy on the 
part of the Cape Government, for which the clear thinking 
and plain speaking of Rhodes was largely responsible, it 
seems not unlikely that the English settlers might have 
gradually thrown in their lot with the Dutch, and the result 
might well have been a United Dutch South Africa. 



POLICIES AND PERSONS 55 

President Kruger, I ' who was a child of the Great Trek and 
who felt towards the British Empire as Hannibal did to the 
Roman Republic,' expressed his aims in a letter to Brand, 
then President of the Free State, thus : ' Freedom shall rise 
for South Africa as the sun from the morning clouds, as 
freedom rose in the United States of America. Then it shall 
be, from Zambesi to Simon's Bay, Africa for the Africanders.' 
It would appear that although Kruger already had his eye 
on the interior, his aims reached only half as far as the 
distance covered by Rhodes's dreams ; while the mind of 
Rhodes outreached that of Kruger by about the same 
measure. 

Kruger's aim was to annex a rich country of which the 
Boers could be masters, living their own placid, pastoral 
life without reference to the rest of civilisation ; a country 
where other races white and black would only be per- 
mitted so long as they claimed no rights of interference in 
the government. 

Rhodes worked for the federation of South Africa under 
the British flag, with full rights and liberties for all settlers 
and a sympathetic government for the native races with 
respect for their own laws and customs. 

On one occasion when Rhodes was insisting that the 
barbarism of Central Africa should be replaced by civilisation, 
he was asked by Sir Thomas Fuller what sort of civilisation 
he proposed ; would it be that which employed gunpowder 
and c Cape Smoke ' (brandy) as its agents in other words, 
the introduction of the vicious habits of the old country ? 
'No,' said Rhodes, c nor do I want the natives to ape 
European dress or cover themselves with a veneer of sanctity. 
I want them to feed and clothe themselves decently, to show 
some concern for each other's welfare, and ultimately to 
come into " affairs." ' Surely this was a definition of the 
truest missionary ideal ! 

The one factor which did favour the entry into public life 
at this time of a young and energetic personality like Rhodes 
was that the opening up of the diamond fields and their 



56 RHODES: A LIFE 

probable amalgamation had aroused an intense interest in 
the progress of the country. In many cases successful 
diggers had turned their energies from personal gain to the 
general welfare of the community by becoming men of public 
affairs. 

The diamond fields had also been of immense benefit to 
the trade of South Africa, since the number of diggers who 
had come there from all parts of the world provided a ready 
market and good prices for all the produce the farmers could 
grow, although some of the unprogressive back-veld Boers 
by no means welcomed the new era of prosperity and enter- 
prise. In this regard Sir Thomas Fuller tells a curious story 
which provides a striking example of what an all-Dutch 
South Africa might have become. He says that stopping at 
a farm while on a journey, ' the Boer told me through an 
interpreter that he had heard I was from Cape Town and 
knew many people, so he thought that I might be able to 
bring him a purchaser for his farm. Instead of living a quiet 
life as he had always done, he told me that waggons on their 
way to the fields were calling day and night asking to buy 
forage for their horses and mules, and food and coffee for 
themselves, and sometimes even a sheep to kill. Putting his 
hand to his head, the Boer told me that it was so troubling 
and distressing him that he wished to clear out and retire to 
some quiet spot.' Fuller adds that the farm was terribly 
poor ; that there were half -clad children about and evidently 
another coming. That farmer had a golden opportunity to 
make a good income, educate his children, and enlarge his 
estate ; yet with that strange stolidity and longing for peace, 
he preferred to gather his family, his flocks and herds, and 
trek away into the wilderness far from markets and trade. 
It was this characteristic of some of his people which helped 
Kruger when he urged his countrymen to encroach on native 
territory, always with the idea of finally incorporating more 
land under the Transvaal flag. 

The natives had also gained by the increased prosperity 
of South Africa, since the mines provided them with un- 
limited work. Boys from all parts of the country would 



POLICIES AND PERSONS 57 

work on the mines for a. short time in return for good food 
and wages. Afterwards they would go back to their kraals 
comparatively rich in the possession of blankets, one or more 
European garments, better agricultural tools, and sometimes 
firearms with which the various tribes, and in particular the 
Basutos, defended themselves against the depredations of 
the Boers. 

In 1875 the administration of Basutoland had been taken 
over by Cape Colony from the Imperial authorities ; and 
when Sir Gordon Sprigg, digging up an ancient and long- 
forgotten law, had attempted to disarm the Basutos, fighting 
resulted, in the course of which our troops only penetrated 
ten miles into the mountains of Basutoland, and that at a 
cost of four millions sterling. 

We had employed the natives to work for the money for 
which we sold them guns, and these they were ordered to 
surrender. Small wonder that they resisted, and a * little ' 
war which led to three years of desultory and inconclusive 
followed. At the end of that time the Imperial 



Government agreed to take the country back under its 
protection, in which condition it has remained ever since. 

Rhodes made his first speech in Parliament on April 9th, 
1881, twelve days after he entered the House, and dealt with 
the policy of the Basuto disarmament, to which he was 
frankly opposed. 

He spoke a few weeks later on the same subject in a way 
which pleased the House. His language was vigorous, and 
he made trenchant reference to there being no reason why 
Sir Gordon Sprigg should be accepted at his own value and 
regarded as the only possible saviour of society. This 
speech made a great impression on the House by the force 
with which he emphasised his ideas. As Rhodes himself 
often said, c If you reiterate your ideas often enough you 
will carry conviction in the end/ a theory he was constantly 
putting into practice. 

Rhodes held the view that, as no law to the contrary had 
existed, the natives could not be held wrong in buying 
firearms, and that they ought to be given reasonably long 



58 KHODBS: A LIFE 

warning that laws were going to be passed to bring about 
their disarmament, which with sympathetic explanation he 
felt would settle the question without breaking friendly 
relations with them. He did not consider they had been at 
all fairly treated over the matter. Sprigg's feeble policy 
in regard to natives was partly responsible for the fall of his 
ministry, upon which Sir Thomas Scanlen became Prime 
Minister. 

In August 1881 Rhodes made a strong speech at Kimberley 
on Basutoland and the policy of the Government. As a 
great part of the labour for the mines was drawn from Basuto 
territory, and as Rhodes was already regarded as an out- 
standing personality on the Fields, there was great excitement 
on the mines when it became known that he was to address 
a meeting there. 

Although one of several speakers, he at once obtained a 
grip of his audience and held them by the magnetism of his 
personality and the simple force of his words. In a leading 
article on this speech the Cape Argus observed : 'Those whose 
only knowledge of Mr. Rhodes's powers as a speaker is 
derived from a perusal of his speeches in the Cape Town 
papers, were certainly not prepared for the exhibition of 
oratorical skill and dialectic powers with which they were 
favoured by the youthful member for Barkly West.' 

Hensman tells us that from that night his political position 
on the diamond fields was assured, and shortly afterwards 
he assumed the position of spokesman for the Kimberley 
district in the House of Assembly, which he maintained all 
his life. 

Early in 1882 General Gordon, recalled from his * Barracks 
and Drains ' in Mauritius, was appointed to go to Basutoland 
and settle the difficulties of the chiefs, while Rhodes was 
asked by Scanlen to be a member of the Compensation 
Commission to inquire into losses suffered by loyal Basutos 
during the war. 

Rhodes was, we gather, glad to take the opportunity of 
studying for himself affairs in Basutoland, and while on the 
Commission he met General Gordon. The two men resembled 



POLICIES AND PERSONS 59 

each other in many respects, particularly in their immense 
patriotism, and they became great friends. Each possessed 
the utmost confidence in his own abilities and a fondness for 
having his own way. 'You always contradict me/ said 
Gordon to Rhodes one day ; c I never saw such a man for his 
own opinion ; you think you are always right and everyone 
else wrong.' c I have studied my subject from all sides/ 
replied Rhodes. ' But not from mine ! ' retorted Gordon. 

By way of cementing this friendship the two took long 
walks together, and, strange as it may appear, * Rhodes the 
younger by twenty years seems to have played the mentor's 
part, for he told Gordon not to talk to the Basutos as if he 
were their supreme lord, but to remember he was only the 
servant of Sauer, the Minister for Native Affairs. Gordon 
took the reproof meekly and went next day to explain 
matters to the natives, adding in an aside to Rhodes, " I did it 
because it was the right thing ; but it was hard, very hard. " l ' 

After this brief important meeting the two never saw one 
another again, although Gordon begged Rhodes to go and 
work with him, and it was a never forgotten friendship. 
' I liked Gordon/ said Rhodes to me one day ; ' he was 
cranky in many ways and apt to do things on the spur of 
the moment, and his language at times was strong beyond 
expression, but he was a " doer," a man who would move 
mountains and gain the objective he had set himself/ 

A year or so prior to this Rhodes made his second will, 
which is startling in its brevity, for it runs simply : * I, C. J. 
Rhodes, being of sound mind, leave my worldly wealth to 
N. E. Pickering.' Neville Pickering, as we know, was his 
great friend at Kimberley, and although from this it would 
seem that Rhodes had sacrificed his giant schemes for a 
private friendship, when handing the will to Pickering he 
gave him the subjoined letter : ' My dear Pickering, Open 
the enclosed after my death. There's an old will of mine 
with Graham, whose conditions can only be carried out by 
a trustworthy person, and I consider you one. Yours, 
C. J. Rhodes. 

i Williams. 



60 RHODES : A LIFE 

' You fully understand you are to use interest of money 
as you like during your life. C. J. B.' 

So we know that his views were unchanged ; but he now 
trusted a friend in preference to the Secretary of State. 
Poor Neville Pickering, as I have already told, died pre- 
maturely very soon after the completion of this will. 

On his return south, Rhodes strongly urged upon the 
Government the construction of a railway running north to 
Kimberley, because he saw that it would not only benefit 
the diamond fields, but also in time might be extended 
further northward and so open up that great country 
towards which his dreams were always reaching. But 
although the line was authorised, it did not extend to 
Kimberley until 1885. 

In 1883 Rhodes repeated in the House his emphatic 
declaration in regard to federation. In the course of a 
speech on the Basutoland Annexation Bill he said, ' I believe 
in a United States of South Africa ; but as a portion of the 
British Empire.' He now set himself to work with deter- 
mination to find an opening for his great scheme of northern 
expansion. As in the amalgamation of the mines, he moved 
slowly and warily never hurrying, never retreating, but 
gradually forging towards his goal. 



CHAPTER VII 

BLAZING THE TRAIL 

1882-1885 

As in earlier difficulties when opposed by apparently insur- 
mountable obstacles, Rhodes first weighed up the strength 
of his opponents, their aims and their resources ; and then 
made careful search for the position from which there 
appeared the greatest chance of launching a successful 
attack. 

Now that the Transvaal was lost, the Dutch practically 
blocked the way to the north, except through Bechuanaland. 
Rhodes therefore turned his attention to that narrow gateway, 
for he realised that a loyal element introduced into and 
settled over the vast and almost unknown tracts which are 
now Bechuanaland and Rhodesia would outweigh the 
Transvaal and the Free State, and might effect a gradual 
settlement of the supremacy question in South Africa by 
giving sufficient space for the growth of an immense Imperial 
power, which would by degrees assert that supremacy de- 
cisively and, without any appeal to force, hold the balance 
of the scales. 

Against Trim he had to count the adverse feeling produced 
in the Cape Colony by our colonial policy and the victory 
over British troops which had led the Dutch to believe the 
whole of the interior of Africa might be their rightful 
heritage ; the difficulty of inoculating Downing Street with 
any show of zeal for the Empire ; and though he was then 
unconscious of its extent the ceaseless jealousy and watch- 
fulness of President Kruger, with his dominant idea of a 
Dutch South Africa. 

61 



62 RHODES: A LIFE 

Rhodes grasped clearly that Kruger's aim was to build a 
wall of Boer territory, which should stretch from Delagoa 
Bay to Lake N'gami and shut off Cape Colony from all trade 
with the interior. Determined that this should not happen, 
he put the whole weight of his f orcef ulness into the fight to 
hold for Britain an opportunity of extending her territory 
towards the north. 

Although, as he had told Jameson in the early Kimberley 
days, he realised that the high plateau of central Africa was 
the key to the vast continent * Give me the centre, and 
let who will have the swamps which skirt the coast,' l said 
Rhodes yet he now contemplated a double movement in 
his expansion scheme. In addition to gaining the direct 
northward route, he began to consider the possible possession 
by purchase of Delagoa Bay, which in 1872 could have been 
acquired by the British Government for 12,000 ; and though 
this secondary scheme fell through owing to international 
complications, there is no doubt that had it succeeded it 
would probably have had a more far-reaching effect on the 
history of Africa than even the central advance since 
' Ready communication with the commerce and life of the 
outer world is of as much moment to a state as its internal 
expansion.' l It is often overlooked that by the arbitration 
award of 1875 Great Britain holds the right of pre-emption 
in the event of Delagoa Bay ever being available for disposal. 

In 1884 Kruger now sure of his independence and in the 
success of his tactics of peaceful encroachment began his 
rival scheme of expansion, and started out various bands of 
freebooters on every side to hold all and any further territory 
they could. Two of these expeditions, under Van Niekerk 
and Gey van Pittius, pushed into Bechuanaland and founded 
the republics of Stellaland and Goshen, with a town in the 
latter called Rooi Grond since known as Mafeking. 

Rhodes, who at this time had been devoting much 
attention to the delimitation of the boundaries of Griqualand 
West, found that an error had been made in the survey, and 
several farms belonging to an independent chief, Mankoroane, 

1 Fuller. 



BLAZING THE TRAIL 63 

had unintentionally been included in the territory. This he 
brought to the attention of the House in 1882, pointing out 
that the effect had been to cut off country belonging to us, 
and leave it in the hands of the freebooters. ' The Transvaal,' 
said Rhodes, ' has kept a commando on the borders.' 

In May of that year he obtained the appointment of a 
Commission to inquire into the matter and decide what steps 
should be taken in regard to the disputed territory, and 
he himself was selected as one of the members to deal with 
the complaint of Mankoroane, Chief of the Batlapin tribe, 
who ruled what is now Lower Bechuanaland. 

Mankoroane claimed that part of his country had been 
included in the territory of Griqualand West, and also that 
his people and herds were being harried by gangs of Dutch 
land-grabbers, who settled within his borders. This was 
found to be perfectly true ; but as seventy farms in the 
territory had already been taken up, it was impossible to 
return them to the Chief. 

Rhodes, however, with his swift instinct for the right 
course, not only obtained from Mankoroane a cession of the 
whole country (half of Bechuanaland) for Cape Colony, in 
spite of the fact that an intrigue was already in existence to 
bring about the annexation of Stellaland and Goshen by the 
Transvaal ; but he also persuaded a large proportion of the 
Dutch farmers there to sign a petition asking to be taken 
over by the Cape Government. This was made possible 
owing to the fact that by this time many of Kruger's original 
freebooters had been bought out by Dutchmen from the 
colony. 

After a prolonged and ineffectual argument conducted 
over the telegraph wires with Scanlen, Rhodes returned to 
Cape Town with both the cession and the petition in his 
pocket the corner-stones of his immense scheme only to 
be refused by the Cape Government. 

Scanlen was too much afraid of losing the Dutch vote to 
propose the annexation, although Rhodes tried his best to 
rouse the members from their apathy towards so great a 
question of territorial policy. ' This question of Bechuana- 



64 RHODES: A LIFE 

land is of supreme importance,' he said, ' on the treatment 
of which depends the whole future of this colony. ... I 
look upon this Bechuanaland territory as the Suez Canal 
of the trade of this country, the key to its road to the in- 
terior. . . . The question before us is, whether this colony 
is to be confined to its present borders, or whether it is to be 
the dominant state in South Africa.' 

Even this appeal failed to move the politicians at the Cape. 
As Rhodes remarked bitterly, ' The mists of Table Mountain 
covered all.' * They could not see beyond, nor look ahead 
further than their own immediate and unimportant present. 

Rhodes had not dreamed for a moment that the Colonial 
Government would refuse to assume control of a new 
territory, which would add so much importance to the 
position and the prosperity of Cape Colony ; but he had not 
correctly gauged the feelings of the House. All his vigorous 
arguments were in vain ; the opposing forces were too strong ; 
the politicians too lethargic ; and for the time being he was 
forced to retire from the struggle, baffled and disheartened. 
But not for long did the endless rebuffs which would have 
broken the spirit of most men discourage him. His in- 
vincible determination to win the North never failed and 
he soon began to try for progress in other directions. 

He went back to Kimberley, where the diamond industry 
was not flourishing at this time, and there was little there 
but added anxieties to relieve his disappointment at having 
fought for and apparently all in vain gained in the name of 
the colony a valuable country, the responsibility for which 
that colony refused to accept. 

At this time there grew in the mind of Rhodes a great 
admiration for his rival, Kruger, who he realised must be 
regarded as a worthy and determined enemy. He contrasted 
the foresight and daring of the Dutch President with the 
parochial smallmindedness of the Cape Parliament, very 
much to the latter's disadvantage. 

With that persistent characteristic of ever finding a gap 
in the hedge when the gate was barred, Rhodes refused to 

1 Fuller. 



BLAZING THE TRAIL 65 

be beaten by the inaction of the Cape Government and he 
decided to approach the Imperial authorities. To this end 
he urged the Governor, Sir Hercules Robinson, who had a 
great opinion of the abilities of Rhodes, to use his influence 
with Downing Street. This he did, with the result that the 
Imperial Government offered to take over Bechuanaland 
on condition that the Cape Government bore half the cost 
of administration. But even this the members of the Cape 
House refused to do ; and Rhodes was notified that the 
incident was closed. It is not difficult to imagine what must 
have been his feelings at thus being thwarted when success 
had seemed within his grasp. 

However, even greater forces were now at work indirectly 
pushing England to embrace a definite policy of colonial 
expansion. A severe and very salutary shock was adminis- 
tered to the Home Government by the sudden annexation 
by Germany of Angra Pequena and all the hinterland to 
the east of Walfish Bay on the west coast of South Africa ; 
whereupon the Foreign Office realised that owing to its 
dilatory policy the English colonies in Africa were in danger 
of being cut off from the seaboard by the Germans on the 
west, and the Portuguese owners of Delagoa Bay in the east ; 
while the Transvaal, a small weak power between two greater, 
was in danger of being annexed by either, and added to the 
difficulties of the situation. 

At last Lord Derby and his colleagues began to see reason 
in Rhodes's scheme, which was heartily backed up by the 
arguments of Sir Hercules Robinson. 

A Protectorate was established over Bechuanaland in 
1884. The trail of our northward expansion was blazed ; 
and Rhodes, after facing what had seemed like defeat, had 
now gained a goal. He had also learned that he might hope 
for more help for his schemes from the Home Government 
than from the members of the Cape House. But in spite of 
this he continued trying to draw the Dutch and English 
settlers together to work as partners for the prosperity of 
the country. 

M.O.B. B 



66 RHODES : A LIFE 

In this year Rhodes had held office as Treasurer-General 
for six weeks ; but when the Scanlen Ministry was defeated 
on an agricultural bill, Upington, who was little more than 
the spokesman of Hofmeyr, became Prime Minister. 

An invitation came now to Rhodes from General Gordon, 
then starting for Khartoum, who wired asking him to come 
and help him in his last struggle with the Mahdi in the 
Soudan. Rhodes, who could not then relinquish his parlia- 
mentary and Imperial work, had, however, reluctantly to 
refuse, and when he received the news of Gordon's death he 
was deeply moved, saying, * I wish I had been with him. 
I wish I had been with him/ 

John MacKenzie, a missionary of twenty years' experience, 
was appointed Special Commissioner of the newly estab- 
lished Bechuanaland Protectorate in April 1884. Although 
a good man with natives, understanding their ways and 
holding their confidence, he was an Imperialist of very 
narrow views. He lacked the necessary tact to handle the 
delicate situation that had arisen and was therefore unable 
to avoid offending most Dutchmen with whom he came in 
contact. Thus he was quite unfitted for the task imposed 
upon him. On his arrival he at once visited the two 
republics, and was at first fairly well received in Stellaland, 
for the Dutch there had pleasant memories of Rhodes when 
he had been up on the Border Commission. But MacKenzie, 
who accomplished nothing in the way of a permanent settle- 
ment, was openly defied at Rooi Grond. He treated all 
Dutch as freebooters and rascals, and made no attempt to 
conciliate the settlers ; while during his visit to Stellaland 
he quarrelled with Van Niekerk and attempted to divide his 
followers. At length he raised the British flag without any 
authority to do so, and then demanded a large force of police 
to quell the storm which very naturally followed. 

Rhodes, then in Kimberley, was much perturbed to hear 
that MacKenzie had so muddled the difficulties he had been 
sent to straighten out, and especially that the friction 
between the two races, which he himself had tried to 
eliminate, had been augmented in Bechuanaland by the 



BLAZING THE TRAIL 67 

faulty methods of the Commissioner : so he wired to Sir 
Hercules that ' MacKenzie seems to be working for a split 
on race lines ; if true this certainly means trouble.' * 

As a result MacKenzie was recalled in August, for both 
the Cape Government and the Transvaal realised that he was 
a menace to the peace, the truth of which was proved by the 
fact that in September of that year Kruger proclaimed the 
territories to be under the protection and control of the 
South African Republic, in direct defiance of the Convention 
of London of February 27th. 

In March Rhodes himself, with the title of Deputy Com- 
missioner, was sent up by Sir Hercules Robinson ' to see 
what he could do ' ; though Hofmeyr and the Bond tried 
in vain to prevent his going, fearing the effect of his very 
vigorous imperialism. 

Sir Hercules Robinson, now realising the seriousness of 
the situation, told Rhodes that he feared Bechuanaland had 
gone, and that the freebooters, with Kruger behind them, 
would take the country. But Rhodes refused to hold such a 
gloomy view, and would not believe that things had gone too 
far. At any rate he determined to make one last effort to 
remedy the mistakes that had been made, and safeguard the 
territory he had fought so hard to gain. The High Commis- 
sioner was careful to point out that he could give him no 
force with which to back up his arguments. ' Oh, that 
will be all right/ responded Rhodes, with hitf cheery opti- 
mism, "give me permission to do as I think best, and I 
shall get through all right/ * Yes/ said Sir Hercules, c you 
can have that permission ; but if you get into a mess I cannot 
back you up/ ' That is good enough for me/ was Rhodes's 
answer, and he at once made his preparations for the journey. 2 

In Bechuanaland he found that conditions were even more 
strained than he had been led to believe. Van Niekerk, 
whom he first visited, was encamped on the banks of the 
Hartz River supported by a large commando from the 
Transvaal ; but the free and easy way in which Rhodes went 
among the Boers, apparently heedless of the presence of a 
1 Williams. * Hensmaru 



68 RHODES : A LIFE 

considerable armed force, carried him a long way towards 
gaining their confidence. His conduct * in the meeting with 
Groot Adrian Delarey, a huge uncouth Boer from the 
back-veld with a reputation for violence, was characteristic. 
' I shall never forget our meeting,' said Rhodes some years 
later ; c when I spoke to Delarey his answer was, " Blood 
must flow." To which I remember making the retort, " No, 
give me my breakfast, and then we can talk about blood." ' 
c I stayed with him a week/ continued Rhodes ; ' I became 
godfather to his grandchild, and we made a settlement.' 

On reading such a story we realise why Rhodes so consis- 
tently gained his point where other men had failed. When 
the obvious way seemed of no use, he found another of which 
no one else would have thought, and proceeded to make it 
successful. 

Rhodes possessed a highly courageous nature, as was 
shown on many occasions, notably during the Matabele 
Rebellion ; and while on this mission he took no precautions 
of any sort for his safety, although his companions declined 
to sleep in his camp for several nights for fear of being 
murdered, and carried their bedding some distance off, 
leaving Rhodes quite alone but for a coloured man and two 
natives. In the end Rhodes laughed them out of their fears, 
as he had laughed away the troubles of the freebooters. 

But even now the troubles of Bechuanaland were not over. 
The settlement made between Rhodes and Van Niekerk in 
September stipulated that the settlers must recognise a 
British Protectorate before the end of the year, but that 
they might administer the government of Stellaland subject 
to the British Commissioner's approval ; that their land 
titles should be recognised and all MacKenzie's proceedings 
declared void. 

At Rooi Grond, Rhodes was not so successful, for General 
Joubert actually attacked a native tribe within the disputed 
territory in his presence, and it was found impossible to come 
to any terms. Rhodes realised that the whole country might 
be lost and the German territory on the west extended to 

1 Williams. 



BLAZING THE TRAIL 69 

join that of the Boer republics unless some display of force 
was brought to bear upon these truculent Boers. For this 
reason he impressed upon both Sir Hercules Robinson and 
Lord Derby that an armed force under the command of Sir 
Charles Warren, whom he had met at Kimberley, should be 
sent from England to insist on British rights and establish 
a Protectorate over the disputed territory, to which sugges- 
tion both Sir Hercules and Lord Derby agreed. 

It is interesting to note that in November Ernest Rhodes, 
writing to Cecil from England in regard to the formation of 
this force, relates that the three brothers, Frank, Elmhirst, 
and himself, had all got their companies in the same year. 1 
c Close running ! ' he added. 

Before the expeditionary force could arrive the Prime 
Minister, Upington, with Sprigg his Treasurer, had gone up 
as emissaries to Joubert and had practically agreed to all 
his demands. Their decisions, however, were immediately 
repudiated by the High Commissioner ; and public feeling 
in the matter ran so high that both were burned in effigy in 
Cape Town. 

On his arrival c Sir Charles Warren was appointed Special 
Commissioner with authority to take a military expedition 
to Bechuanaland to remove the filibusters, to pacify the 
land, to reinstate the natives m their own territory, and to 
adopt such measures as might be necessary to prevent 
further depredations. Kruger was ordered to withdraw, 
and Warren was called upon to hold Bechuanaland until a 
further policy was decided on.' a 

Kruger, now realising that he had gone too far, and that 
he was not as yet in a position to encounter a large force of 
British troops, began to urge for a peaceable arrangement 
as strongly as he could, stating that his objects had been 
entirely for the ' interests of humanity.' He tried very hard 
to dissuade Warren from proceeding beyond Kimberley, 
saying that he would be responsible for keeping order in the 
country, but this Warren would not hear of and continued 
his advance, while Kruger returned to Pretoria. Matters 
1 Michell. 2 Marshall-Hole. 



70 RHODES : A LIFE 

were gradually settled after a fashion by Warren, but not 
without increasing still more the racial hatreds which were 
rife at that time. 

He tried to ride roughshod over the prejudices of the Boers, 
and although he upheld the agreement with Van Niekerk, 
he undid all Rhodes's efforts for the amicable working 
together of the two races in the future. One of his greatest 
mistakes was his insistence that the hated MacKenzie should 
remain with him as adviser, against the strong advice of 
the High Commissioner; but he consented to Rhodes's 
presence, mainly in deference to Sir Hercules' wishes. 

A meeting between Warren and Kruger was arranged at 
Fourteen Streams, a small town on the frontier and in the 
district of Barkly West ; but Warren gave great offence to 
Kruger by coming with a large military escort, while the 
Dutch President was only accompanied by a small guard of 
honour. 

At this conference, in January 1885, Rhodes and Kruger 
for the first time came face to face. The two men of different 
nations, both of such strong character, met at last. Each 
took the measure of the other, and from descriptions we 
learn that both were impressed by the meeting. Rhodes's 
admiration for the audacity and cleverness of Kruger was 
increased, while Kruger, who was sixty years old at this 
time, is reported to have said of Rhodes : ' That young man 
will cause me trouble if he does not leave politics alone and 
turn to something else. Well, the racehorse is swifter than 
the ox ; but the ox can draw the greater loads. We shall 
see.' * 

Seeing that the republics of Stellaland and Goshen had 
been broken up without firing a shot, Warren's expedition 
might be looked upon as having achieved a complete success. 
This was largely due to Rhodes's diplomacy. The fair 
terms on which he arranged that the Dutch should hold 
their lands was the deciding factor which preserved Bechuana- 
land to the Empire. Unfortunately, as a governor, Warren 
was not the success he proved as a soldier. He had no idea 

1 Williams. 



BLAZING THE TRAIL 71 

of following out Rhodes's lead and working for the removal 
of race feeling. On the contrary, he seems to have done all 
possible to add to its bitterness. Influenced by MacKenzie, 
and openly disregarding the advice of Rhodes, he refused 
to be bound by the settlement made at Fourteen Streams. 
He arrested and imprisoned Van Niekerk ; and finally urged 
that some change should be made in Rhodes's status, which 
was still that of Deputy Commissioner. 

But Rhodes, anxious at all costs to avert a quarrel which 
might endanger the present precarious tranquillity of Bechu- 
analand, declared himself willing to act in subordination to 
Warren, only insisting that the promises he had made to the 
Dutch should be kept. This arrangement smoothed matters 
over until Sir Charles Warren attempted to declare an entirely 
new boundary to that agreed on for the South. To this 
Rhodes naturally objected, and as a result Warren wrote to 
him in such terms that Rhodes immediately placed his resig- 
nation in the hands of the High Commissioner. He wrote : 

* Whatever may have been my differences with the Special 
Commissioner upon public grounds, I was at all times 
anxious to avoid even the appearance of a personal feud or 
misunderstanding; but I feel that I should be entirely 
wanting in self-respect if I did not bring specially to your 
Excellency's notice the terms of this communication, 
addressed to an officer who had been humbly but loyally 
endeavouring for several months past, without any of the 
ordinary inducements which such service offers, to promote 
such a settlement of difficult affairs as would tend to the 
maintenance of British interests and the settled peace of this 
portion of Her Majesty's dominions. 

c Under the circumstances which had arisen I felt that I 
could not longer retain my position with honour. Every 
promise which I had made to the Stellaland people as regards 
their form of government, their land grants, and their losses 
from cattle thefts had, although ratified by Sir Charles 
Warren, been repeatedly violated ; whilst proceedings 
almost ludicrous in their illegality had been instituted 
against Mr. Van Niekerk, who had been made use of by us 



72 RHODES: A LIFE 

for our own purposes almost up to the moment of his arrest. 
I accordingly, hastened to Cape Town for the purpose of 
placing in your Excellency's hands, which I do now, the 
commission with which you did me the honour to entrust 
me.' 1 

Very shortly after his return to the south, Rhodes in a 
remarkable speech gave to the House a history of his struggles 
and his hopes in Bechuanaland, in the course of which he 
said : ' Do you think that if the Transvaal had Bechuanaland 
it would be allowed to keep it ? Would not Bismarck have 
some trouble with the Transvaal ; and without resources, 
without men, what could they do ? Germany would come 
across from her settlement at Angra Pequena. There would 
be some excuse to pick a quarrel some question of 
brandy or guns or something and then Germany would 
stretch from Angra Pequena to Delagoa Bay. I was never 
more satisfied with my own views than when I saw the 
recent development in the policy of Germany. What was 
the bar in Germany's way ? Bechuanaland. What was the 
use to her of a few sand heaps at Angra Pequena, and what 
was the use of the arid deserts between Angra Pequena and 
the interior, with this English and Colonial bar between her 
and the Transvaal ? If we were to stop at Griqualand West, 
the ambitious objects of Germany would be attained. . . . 
Before I left Bechuanaland Sir Charles Warren said my 
presence was a danger to the peace of the country, when in 
reality I was working with one sole object, and that was 
the retaining of the trade route to the interior for the Cape 
Colony. 

' I have fought for this at the risk of my political position 
and personal relationship with all sections of the country, 
because I considered it would be for the best interests of 
the country, and of South Africa, that the territory should 
be British territory. ... I remember when a youngster 
reading in my English history of the supremacy of my 
country and its annexations, and that there were two 
cardinal axioms that the word of the nation, when once 

1 JEEensman. 



BLAZING THE TRAIL 73 

pledged, was never broken, and that when a man accepted 
the citizenship of the British Empire there was no distinction 
between races. ... It has been my misfortune in one year 
to meet with the breach of the one, and the proposed breach 
of the other. ... In conclusion I wish to say that the breach 
of solemn pledges, and the introduction of race distinctions, 
must result in bringing calamity on this country, and if such 
a policy is pursued it will endanger the whole of our social 
relationships with colonists of Dutch descent, and endanger 
the supremacy of Her Majesty in this country.' 

Which clearly shows that in spite of bitter set-backs, 
disappointments and much unfair criticism, Rhodes was still 
inflexibly determined to secure and to hold the interior of 
Africa for the British Empire. 

A letter x sent me for publication by Lord Harris, to whom 
it was written, and who was about this time Under-Secretary 
for the Colonies, which also appears in Sir Lewis MichelTs 
Life, is of very great interest, showing as it does Rhodes's 
determination to lose no opportunity of stressing the im- 
portance of the hinterland of South Africa to the Empire, and 
especially to the Cape Colony, on anyone who might assist 
him in the great effort he was making to keep the country 
to the north of that colony out of German hands, for he 
realised that, first, here was a great stretch of fine, healthy 
country admirably suited for white settlement, and the 
unquestioned key to all the North which, unless taken 
possession of by the Cape or Great Britain, would undoubt- 
edly soon be claimed by Germany ; and, second, that were 
that to happen the Cape would never attain the world 
importance her geographical position entitled her to. For- 
tunately his efforts were successful, and Bechuanaland was 
formally taken under British protection in September 1885. 

1 See Appendix, p. 396. 



CHAPTER VIII 

WAYS AND MEANS 
1885-1888 

APTEB the many disillusions Rhodes had suffered in connec- 
tion with the annexation and subsequent administration of 
Bechuanaland, bis schemes of immediate further expansion 
were checked, though he still dreamed of gaining a clear way 
to the north for the road which he meant to make one day, 
a road which would reach beyond the furthest limits of 
the trail that he had already blazed. c There is no victory 
till the fight is over ' was a phrase Rhodes habitually used, 
while he continued to hold on grimly in the face of desperate 
adversity. 

In the intervals of hard parliamentary work he won over 
certain hitherto antagonistic members to his own views, 
and dealt with the difficulties of the diamond industry. 
The latter was still a source of grave anxiety, although 
Rhodes steadily continued to amalgamate further properties 
with the object of one day forming a solid whole, which 
should control the diamond output of the world. Yet he 
never rested from his world of dreams, about which he talked 
freely to his friends until they in turn became infected with 
a belief in an immense future for the British Empire in 
Africa. 

Already, ' FROM CAPE TO CAIRO ' had become the watch- 
word of the advance, for Rhodes had begun to talk of con- 
necting South and North Africa by railway and telegraph. 
These he rightly held to be absolutely necessary factors of 
permanent expansion. e The railway will be my right hand, 9 
he would say, c and the telegraph my speech and my voice/ 

74 



WAYS A3STD MEANS 75 

Sir Thomas Fuller tells us of an illuminating talk between 
Rhodes and Sir Hercules Robinson at this time. 

' We are now,' said Rhodes, ' at latitude 22.' 

Sir Hercules responded, e And what a trouble it has been ! 
Where do you mean to stop ? ' 

* I will stop,' said Rhodes, c where the country has not 
been claimed.' 

His Excellency said, 'Let us look at the map/ And 
Rhodes showed hi that his scheme extended to the southern 
border of Lake Tanganyika. His Excellency was a little 
upset. 

Rhodes said, ' The powers at home marked the map and 
did nothing ; let us try to mark the map and we all know we 
shall do something.' 

' Well,' said Sir Hercules, c I think you should be satisfied 
with the Zambesi as a boundary.' 

Rhodes replied, ' Let us take a piece of notepaper and let 
us measure from the Block House at Cape Town to the Vaal 
River ; that is the individual effort of the people. Now let 
us measure up what you have done in your temporary 
existence, and then we will finish up by measuring up my 
imaginings.' * We took a piece of notepaper,' said Rhodes, 
c and measured up the efforts of the country since the Dutch 
had occupied and founded it. We measured what the 
Governor had done in his life, and then we measured my 
imaginings ; and his Excellency, who is no longer with us, 
said, " I will leave you alone." ' 

On another occasion, in speaking to a few friends of his 
dream, Rhodes said, e Push on, push on, always push on 
further. The road must be made ready for those coming 
behind us/ which gives a very clear indication of the 
selflessness which lay behind all his work. lake the old 
Admiral, the friend of his childhood, Rhodes thought and 
planned for future generations, and worked consistently for 
the common weal. I remember him saying, after a visit he 
paid to the late General Booth at his Salvation Army labour 
colony, ' The progress of the human race is one which we 
should all help forward. Look at what Booth is doing.' 



76 RHODES : A LIFE 

Rhodes was certainly doing much himself, and in all his 
work for this great end he combined in a curious manner 
the imaginative with the commercial. 

The lack of support he had received when dealing with 
Bechuanaland determined him on pursuing a still stronger 
policy of co-operation with the Dutch, so that when a further 
advance might be contemplated he should be able to count 
on the definite support of the Bond party as well as that of 
the British colonists. 

With this end in view he advocated practical concessions 
to the wine farmers at the Cape ; and he did much to 
encourage irrigation, which in later days became a corner- 
stone in his settlement policy for Rhodesia. At the same 
time he tried by every possible means to create friendly 
relations between Cape Colony and the Transvaal. In 1886 
Rhodes brought forward a bill advocating a railway and 
customs union, which should advantage the mutual interests 
of the two states, for sufficient commercial intercourse 
would, he felt sure, gradually sweep away racial bitterness. 

At this time President Kruger, though directly antagonistic 
to all things British, was in favour of an extension of the 
Cape railway from Kimberley to Pretoria, for he did not then 
realise all that such a union would involve ; but the oppor- 
tunity was thrown away by the stupidity of the Cape 
politicians and Sir Gordon Sprigg's Ministry, by which the 
Transvaal's offer of free trade and railway communication 
was refused, in spite of Rhodes's persistent efforts to force 
on the House the importance of such treaties. At a later 
date both concessions were asked for by the Cape Govern- 
ment and refused by President Kruger, who by that time 
had established coastal communication with Delagoa Bay. 

Rhodes also protested against an unlimited franchise by 
which raw natives with no education possessed equal voting 
powers with white settlers. At elections both parties com- 
peted desperately for the native vote, a state of affairs which 
was apt to inflame racial jealousy. 

'If I cannot retain my position in the House on the 
European vote,' Rhodes declared in the course of a speech, 



WAYS AND MEANS 77 

' I wish to be cleared out, for I am above going to the native 
vote for support.' He was in favour of an educational and 
property franchise for natives, and Rhodes's views, as enun- 
ciated at that time, are now the opinions of all thinking men. 
He also urged that liquor should be kept from the natives ; 
as a result the native liquor traffic was stopped, a con- 
dition of drunkenness that had long existed on the diamond 
mines came to an end, and the gradual growth of wealth and 
civilisation in the native territories was assured. Talking 
of this at a later date, Rhodes said : ' I have been accused 
of making it easy for the native to get drink in Kimberley 
and elsewhere. Never was such nonsense talked. If anyone 
in South Africa has done more than I have to keep drink 
from the native I should like to know his name. I've been 
after this all my life. I ran De Beers on ginger beer, and in 
the Transkei I established the most stringent laws in regard 
to drink traffic, and I am now working to the same end in 
this country ' (Rhodesia). 

' If you really love the natives/ said Rhodes, ' you must 
make them worthy of the country they live in, or else they 
are certain by an inexorable law to lose their country. You 
will certainly not make them worthy if you allow them to 
sit in idleness, and if you do not train them in the arts of 
civilisation.' l 

At this time, in 1886, the mining men from the diamond 
fields began to flock towards the Witwatersrand, where rich 
finds of gold had occurred, one of the first being on the farm 
Langlaagte. In this connection it is interesting to quote a 
remark made in 1879 by Sir Garnet Wolseley (afterwards 
Lord Wolseley) : c Larger and still more valuable goldfields 
will sooner or later be discovered in the Transvaal.' This 
prophecy came true when the Barberton goldfields were 
discovered. 

So far back as 1883 the Struben brothers had been carrying 
out experimental mining in the curious rock formations sur- 
rounding what is now the town of Johannesburg. At first 
their results were disappointing ; but in 1886 finds of such 

1 Williams. 



78 RHODES: A LIFE 

extensive deposits were reported that J. B. Robinson and 
Dr. Hans Sauer went up there from Kimberley, where Rhodes 
was still grimly and pertinaciously increasing his claim and 
share holdings and buying up everything of promise he could 
put his hands on. 

Sauer was so much impressed by what he saw that he 
quickly went south again to fetch Rhodes and Rudd, who 
in their turn were followed by Alfred Beit and many others, 
whose belief in the presence of gold in highly payable 
quantities was soon rewarded. The following year coal, so 
necessary for working the gold, was found along the reef at 
Boksburg ; and within another year the foundations of the 
now great town of Johannesburg had emerged from the tents 
of a mining camp along what had at first been known as the 
famous Banket Reef. 

After Rhodes and Rudd had formed some idea of the 
value of the Rand, Rudd went to England to raise more 
capital, and during the year 1887 Rhodes began buying up 
numerous properties, for ' the opinion is gradually growing/ 
he wrote at this time, e that the Rand is the biggest thing in 
gold the world has seen.' And to Dr. Sauer, who had 
originally been instrumental in bringing Rhodes to this 
mining field, he said, * I thought De Beers would retain its 
position as the largest individual mine in the world, but in 
this new field it is likely to be surpassed by several of the 
properties I have seen.' 1 

Of the optimists on the Reef, Rhodes and J. B. Robinson 
were the foremost, though owing to faulty advice Rhodes 
missed buying up some of the highly valuable East Rand 
properties, and, on one occasion at least, Robinson, not 
perhaps so strictly particular in his methods, was the quicker 
in securing a good thing. Williams tells us that while Rhodes 
was bargaining over one property with the farmer in his 
orchard, Robinson had bought it outright from the farmer's 
wife in the kitchen ! 

In these years Rhodes twice met Kmger, although the 
meetings seem to have had no decisive results. Kruger 

1 Williams. 



WAYS AND MEANS 79 

watched with apprehension the growth of the goldfields, 
for although the mines brought large sums to his otherwise 
empty treasury, the miners, he feared, would in time out- 
number his burghers, and he dreaded the powers they might 
come to wield. For this reason he steadily refused all new- 
comers any political rights. 

Rhodes, on the other hand, viewed with enthusiasm the 
development of the mines. He realised the assured prosperity 
of a country possessed of payable mineral wealth. He saw 
that more and more settlers and miners would be drawn 
there from all parts of the world ; c he also knew that the 
discovery of the now famous Banket Reef would inevitably 
lead to more interest in the development and exploration 
further northward toward the country of his dreams. With 
his striking characteristic of looking with extreme accuracy 
into the future, both in politics and finance, he perceived 
clearly that such an influx of English-speaking immigrants 
might have an immense bearing on Ma ultimate a.iTn of 
establishing a United South Africa under the British flag/ l 

In 1887 Rhodes and Rudd consolidated their holdings 
in the Banket Reef and founded the Goldfields of South 
Africa with a capital of 125,000. A few years later this 
developed into the Consolidated Goldfields of South Africa, 
a much larger concern, in which Rhodes always took the 
keenest interest and which like De Beers mines has had a 
very successful career. These partners had now also assumed 
control of what was almost the whole interest in the De 
Beers mine. They were opposed in their scheme for a com- 
plete amalgamation by the Kimberley Central Mining 
Company only, of which Barney Barnato and Woolf Joel 
were the leading spirits. Both sides fought for the control 
of the diamond output in South Africa, but with very different 
motives. Barnato was a financier pure and simple, with 
no thoughts beyond the dividends for himself and his share- 
holders ; while with Rhodes, Ms desire to control the diamond 
market was only a means whereby he hoped to form a gigantic 
monopoly with ample funds, which he proposed to use for 

1 Vindex. 



80 RHODES: A LIFE 

the development of his scheme of British expansion towards 
the north. Rhodes, out of a sentiment which never failed 
him, retained the name of the Dutch Boer who had first 
owned the De Beers property, while Barnato gave to his 
company his own name. 

De Beers and the Kimberley Central Mining Group now 
entered the final stage of the struggle for a complete monopoly 
of the diamond industry, and a veritable battle of giants 
ensued between Rhodes and Barnato. It was possible, as 
Rhodes said after the battle, for the Kimberley mine alone 
to yield twice the diamonds that the world could take 
under ill-regulated management ; and he calculated that the 
potential wealth of De Beers was double that of the Kim- 
berley mine. It was therefore of vital necessity to establish 
a single control which should be able to limit the output so 
as to supply exactly only the world's demand each year, 
and thus maintain and regulate the price. This was what 
the rival firms strove to do. 

Rhodes tried by every possible means to find some basis 
of agreement with Barnato ; but in this case his constantly 
expressed belief that C E you sit down and reason with 
men, you invariably find that you can settle with people 
or arrange with people,' was met by a blank wall of 
opposition. 

In 1887 Rhodes paid a flying visit to England with the 
object of raising further capital with which to pursue his 
determination to amalgamate the diamond mines. With 
such an end in view he gained the support of the Rothschilds, 
and with this behind Tiim he returned to Kimberley. 

Mr. Swift MacNeill, M.P., was his fellow-passenger as far 
as the Cape. He interested Rhodes greatly, and together 
they discussed the Home Rule Bill of 1886, on which Rhodes 
felt very strongly, for he saw in the idea of Home Rule for 
Ireland the embryo of his own dream of Imperial Federation. 
Rhodes was, however, violently opposed to the exclusion 
of the Irish members from Westminster, and the very readi- 
ness with which those members accepted the condition 
roused in his mind a fear that in place of Home Rule they 



WAYS AND MEANS 81 

aimed at an actual separation from the Empire. All these 
views Rhodes expressed in his usual plain language, and 
Swift MacNeill for his part was delighted to find so great a 
political power as Rhodes willing to support Home Rule, 
even in a modified form. He tried hard, though unsuccess- 
fully, to remove Rhodes's fear that complete separation was 
not the final result aimed at. 

MacNeill remained several months at the Cape for reasons 
of health, and during that time he and Rhodes had many 
talks, in the course of which MacNeill formed the idea of 
bringing about a meeting between Rhodes and Parnell, 
and this, as will be seen later on, he was able to accomplish. 

Rhodes returned to Kimberley and commenced once more 
buying up shares in the Kimberley mine, even at the inflated 
price they had then reached. The shareholders in the mine 
were selling out to him while pretending to stand firm behind 
Barnato. It was a case in which the man with the stronger 
personality was bound to win. In production also De Beers 
were now beating the Kimberley mine. Rhodes declared 
that he must have diamonds, and instead of leaving the 
gravel on the floors to disintegrate, as is usually done, much 
of it was crushed and sorted at once, even though in this 
way some diamonds were inevitably lost. But Rhodes 
cared nothing for this during such a fight. As in everything 
else all his life long, he battled for the supremacy of the 
diamond fields with his whole heart and threw all his 
immense energy into the scales. At length the yield of De 
Beers stood almost a quarter of a carat higher than the 
average of the Kimberley mine. 

Oolvin tells how ' after some days of heavy rain, when the 
diamonds, washed clean of their covering of clay, shone 
and glistened on the disintegrating floor, Rhodes marshalled 
the whole staff and set them to gather diamonds like 
mushrooms in a field. The result was a haul of diamonds 
weighing 12,000 carats. This Rhodes took to Barnato's 
office, and he poured the stones out before the astonished 
eyes of his rival.' 

Possibly additional arguments were used. Barnato was 



82 RHODES : A LIFE 

known to have social ambitions. At any rate, he now 
realised that he was beaten ; and it only needed the offer 
of a life governorship, which Rhodes made him, and a 
promise to get him elected a member of the Kimberley Club, 
to determine the rival firm of Barnato and Joel to capitulate. 

Thus the diamond mines of Griqualand West were amal- 
gamated, after a struggle which had lasted thirteen years, 
into one company with Ehodes in practical control. He, 
Barnato, Beit, and Philipson-Stow whose interest was 
afterwards bought by Rhodes were made life governors 
of De Beers ; and the De Beers Consolidated Company was 
registered in 1888. 

The effect was immediate. The supply of diamonds was 
regulated in accordance with the demand. Only one difficulty 
still remained. Rhodes proposed to make provision in the 
articles of association of the company for using part of 
the profits of the De Beers Company towards the building 
of a railway through Bechuanaland and to pursue his policy 
towards the north. To do this a change was necessary in 
the trust deed, for which the consent of Barnato was 
required. He refused stubbornly ; but at length, after a 
meeting lasting nearly twenty-four hours, he surrendered 
rather quaintly. Rhodes's description of what took place 
is interesting : * We sat down one night/ he said, ' to finally, 
I hoped, complete the amalgamation. There were three of us 
who held the principal interest in the diamond mines. Each 
made a condition, and I agreed to those of my two friends. 
As for myself I said, " I want it put in the trust deed that 
we have the power to go to the Zambesi, or further north, 
to spend the money of the company if thought advisable to 
acquire a country and form an empire." My friends would 
not agree, but I was obstinate and we sat there till four o'clock 
in the morning. They got tired, and seeing I was determined 
one of them at last said, " You have queer ideas. Some 
people have a fancy for this thing, and some for that thing, 
but you have a fancy for making an empire. Well, I suppose 
we must give in to you, but it isn't business." If you read 
the trust deed of De Beers you will see it fully set out, 



WAYS AND MEANS 83 

and it will interest you to know that it was a great help to 
me when I was fighting to secure the north. 9 Barnato was 
quite right ; it wasn't business, it was undoubted politics. 

* But/ said Rhodes some years later, telling the story to a 
Rhodesian, ' I got my way, I got my way, and/ pointing to 
the railway, c you are getting your railway line ' ; and, said 
Barnato afterwards, ' The worst of Rhodes is that when you 
have been with him for half an hour, you not only agree with 
him, but you come to believe you have always held his opinion. ' 

The trust deed of De Beers was indeed a marvellous 
document. Since the time of the East India Company no 
other company had had such power. It was authorised to 
take steps for the government of any territory, so that if it 
obtained a charter in accordance with the trust deed from 
the Secretary of State, it would be empowered to annex a 
portion of territory in Central Africa, raise and maintain 
a standing army and undertake warlike operations. Although 
less than half a dozen of those who knew Rhodes recognised 
the fact, it is now very clear that he amalgamated the 
Kimberley diamond mines largely with a view to the 
acquisition of the north for Great Britain. He had thus 
achieved two great objects for which he had worked and 
planned the supreme control of the diamond fields, and 
sufficient and untrammelled wealth at his command with 
which to indulge in that greatest dream of all, * the Empire 
to the Northward.' 

Actually, it is doubtful if he ever knew how rich he was. 
But we are told that his account was usually overdrawn and 
he never carried money with him, merely writing I.O.U.'s 
which later were cashed by his secretaries. He often wrote 
cheques on odd pieces of paper, sometimes even signing them 
in pencil. 

From his earliest days, as we have seen, Rhodes was 
intensely generous. He could scarcely bear to refuse help 
when it was asked, and for this reason was often imposed upon. 

* A man once came to me in Cape Town,' Rhodes used to 
say, ' and told me he was on his beam ends, and could I lend 
him something ? I didn't like the fellow's face, and refused ; 



84 RHODES: A LIFE 

and that same night he committed suicide. That was a 
lesson to me, and since then I have never dared to refuse 
money to folks who are hard up.' 

Known at the age of thirty-four as one of the greatest 
financiers of Europe, Rhodes fully realised the ephemeral 
quality of such fame. ' Of all reputations/ he once said, 
* that of financial ability is the easiest to acquire ; but it is 
also the easiest to lose. 5 And it is not his great wealth but 
the use he made of it that grips our interest. 

He now began to engage in many mining and financial 
undertakings, often meeting entirely unscrupulous men, 
against whom he sometimes employed those who were not 
too nice in their methods, but whom he came to regard as 
necessary to certain kinds of work. To some small extent 
this must have reacted on his character, though it has at 
times been exaggerated out of all proportion. It is generally 
admitted that an enemy must be fought with his own weapons, 
and as a proof of this it is only necessary to quote our own 
use of poison gas in the Great War. Had we scorned such 
methods when they were used by our enemies, England could 
not long have maintained her position among the nations. 

In 1887 the Portuguese surprised the Imperial Government 
by issuing a new official map of South Africa, which marked 
the whole of Lobengula's territory as a Portuguese possession. 
A protest was lodged by the British Foreign Secretary, 
Lord Salisbury ; and in the end the authorities at Lisbon 
were forced, for the time being, to withdraw their claims to 
all country west of the thirty-second degree of east longitude. 

The Portuguese were not alone in coveting what was 
regarded as a rich country, of great possibilities, between 
the Northern Transvaal and the Zambesi. For some time 
past Rhodes and others had realised that Kruger contem- 
plated the annexation of further territory ; and in 1887 a 
rumour was brought south that Lobengula had entered into 
a trading agreement with the Transvaal Government. It 
is certain that some Boers had received permits to hunt in 
his country ; and Rhodes felt the time had come at last to 
establish some sort of an undertaking between Lobengula 



WAYS A-&TD MEANS 85 

and the British Government. * Though my boat may be 
slow in the race, I know what I am starting for/ was a very 
characteristic remark of his. 

Rhodes was aware of the trend of affairs in Matabeleland 
from the reports of three officers, Major Sam Edwards, Lieut. 
Maund, and Lieut. Haynes, who in 1885 had been sent to 
inform Lobengula of the British Protectorate proclaimed 
over Beehuanaland, and to assure fri of the friendly 
intentions of Great Britain towards himself. 

At first Rhodes had hoped to extend the Protectorate 
system which had proved successful in Bechuanaland over 
Matabeleland also, for it seemed likely that Lobengula, 
harried by Portuguese and Boer freebooters, just as Man- 
karoane had been, would have consented in the same way 
to a Protectorate. Sir Hercules Robinson, however, held 
to the view that the British Government would refuse a 
step which involved so great an additional responsibility. 

Rhodes had at last succeeded in impressing on the Afri- 
cander Party in the Cape House that all territories north 
of the Transvaal were not of necessity earmarked for that 
State, but might become an important factor in the future 
prosperity of the Cape Colony. Above all, he believed in 
the necessity for the Imperial factor ; and on the assurance 
of Sir Hercules that the consent of the Colonial Office was 
extremely unlikely to be obtained, Rhodes hit upon an 
alternative idea, and suggested a merely negative arrange- 
ment by means of which Lobengula might be induced to 
promise that he would make no treaty with any European 
Power without the consent of Great Britain. 

The only Powers which Lobengula concerned himself over 
were Great Britain, Germany, and the Transvaal, and of the 
three he was most favourably inclined towards Great 
Britain, largely owing to his friendship with the Rev. J. S. 
Moffat, C.M.G., who was then resident at Bulawayo. Moffat, 
realising that danger was now to be feared from the Germans 
who were advancing eastwards from their newly acquired 
territory in South- West Africa, saw the necessity for imme- 
diate action and went South in order to report matters to 



80 RHODES: A LIFE 

Sir Sidney Shippard, Commissioner in Bechuanaland a man 
who was in complete sympathy with Rhodes's views, and 
had been Attorney-General and Recorder at Kimberley, 
where he first made Rhodes's acquaintance. At the end of 
1887 he induced Shippard to see the High Commissioner 
with the object of getting his sanction to a treaty being made 
by which Lobengula would promise not to cede any part of 
his territory to any other Power than Great Britain. Ship- 
pard, however, failed to induce the High Commissioner to 
consider favourably his proposal, but realising the gravity of 
the position, he telegraphed to Rhodes, who was then in 
Kimberley, to come down at once to Grahamstown and see 
what he could do. Rhodes fell in with this suggestion and 
visited the High Commissioner, who happened to be there 
at the time, urging him to proclaim a Protectorate over the 
northern territories. Sir Hercules not unnaturally declined 
to take such a definite step on his own responsibility, but on 
Rhodes taking over all financial initiative he finally agreed, 
and Moffat was given special authority to conclude such an 
agreement, which was signed in February 1888. 

Moffat, having done all he could, arrived back at Bulawayo 
in January 1888, and at once set about finding out the exact 
relations between President Kruger and Lobengula. 

At their first interview Moffat told Lobengula of the 
rumours concerning an intended treaty between Matabele- 
land and the Transvaal, and asked the king to state clearly 
how matters stood. Lobengula replied that he had made 
no treaties with the Boers, but had allowed a few of them 
to enter his country on hunting expeditions. 

Having advanced so far Moffat, who understood the 
native mind, decided to wait awhile, and not to risk an 
appearance of wishing to hurry the king into further decisions. 
It was the period between the little and the great dances 
when all the king's regiments mustered at the royal kraal, 
and Lobengula decided his policy for the coming year. 
At this time he is described as an imposing native above the 
middle height and of immense bulk, and withal he moved 
with great dignity. 



WAYS AND MEANS 87 

In further conversations Moffat explained to Lobengula 
the dangers which threatened Hm f ro m the encroachments 
of Boers and Portuguese, and impressed upon him the 
necessity of securing the protection of Great Britain. After 
repeated and long drawn out discussions in the presence of his 
three chief indunas, Lobengula, in order to gain security and 
freedom from the constant interference of concession hunters, 
placed his mark to the 'Moffat Treaty,' which ran as follows : 

' The Chief Lo Bengula, Ruler of the tribe known as the 
Amandebele, together with the Mashuna and Makalaka 
tributaries of the same, hereby agrees to the following 
articles and conditions. . . . 

' That peace and amity shall continue for ever between 
Her Britannic Majesty, Her subjects and the Amandebele 
people ; and the contracting Chief, Lo Bengula, engages to 
use his utmost endeavours to prevent any rupture of the 
same, to cause the strict observance of his treaty, and so 
to carry out the treaty of friendship which was entered into 
by his late father, the Chief Umsiligaas, with the then Gover- 
nor of the Cape of Good Hope in the year of our Lord 1836. 

' It is hereby further agreed by Lo Bengula, Chief in and 
over the Amandebele country, with the dependencies as 
aforesaid, on behalf of himself and people, that he will 
refrain from entering into any correspondence or treaty with 
any Foreign State or Power to sell, alienate or cede or 
permit or countenance any sale, alienation or cession of the 
whole or any part of the said Amandebele country under 
his chieftainship, or upon any other subject without the 
previous knowledge and sanction of Her Majesty's High 
Commissioner for South Africa. 

' In faith of which I, Lo Bengula, on my part have hereto 
set my hand at Gubulawayo, Amandebeleland, this llth 
day of February, and of Her Majesty's reign the 51st. 

Lo BENGULA, his X mark. 
Witnesses : W. GBAHAM. 

G. B. VAN WYK. 
Before me, J. S. MOITAT, 
Assistant Commissioner. 9 



88 RHODES : A LIFE 

A despatch, containing the news of the signing of the Moffat 
Treaty reached Lord Knutsford, then Secretary of State for 
the Colonies, on April 10th, 1888, and he a fortnight later 
telegraphed to Sir Hercules Robinson giving him authority 
to ratify the agreement. 1 

Rhodes had thus acquired what amounted to an ' option ' 
on Matabeleland for Great Britain. 

1 Marshall Hole. 



CHAPTER IX 

A BLIND TURNING 

1SS8 

IN the spring of 1888 Rhodes again visited England and was 
thought by many people to be inclined to enter the world 
of English politics. Lord Salisbury, although he had not 
at that time come into very close contact with Rhodes, 
referred to him as ' A gentleman with some considerable 
force of character ' which description is a striking change 
from the earlier epithet, * some cypher, 9 applied to Rhodes 
by another English politician. 

Sir William Harcourt, speaking of Rhodes's views on 
preferential tariff and the necessity for inducing natives to 
work, said jestingly, c Reasonable man, Mr. Rhodes. He is 
so easily satisfied. All he asks us to do is to give up free 
trade and restore slavery. 5 x Evidently the personality of 
Rhodes was now making itself felt outside South Africa. 

He was still deeply interested in Home Rule for Ireland, 
and the meeting with Parnell, long previously planned by 
Swift MacNeill, now took place. Rhodes always believed 
in the personal interview, declaring that often letters do 
more harm than good. 

Parnell called on Rhodes at the Westminster Palace 
Hotel, where he was then staying. During their discussion 
on Home Rule from widely differing points of view, the ideas 
of the two men converged, until at the end Rhodes had 
completely converted Parnell towards an acceptance of his 
condition the retention of the Irish members at West- 
minster. But Parnell, while agreeing to this, would not 

i Williams. 
89 



90 RHODES : A LIFE 

give way upon every point, although he readily promised to 
accept and support the insertion of a clause giving per- 
mission to any colony to claim representation at West- 
minster proportionate to its contribution to Imperial 
purposes. 

Having thus obtained an agreement with the greater part 
of his wishes, Rhodes wrote to Parnell informing him of 
the conditions and terms on which he was prepared to 
contribute 10,000 towards the Irish Party funds. The 
following letters plainly state that the purpose of this gift, 
over which so much controversy and criticism have raged, 
was that Parnell should support Imperial Federation as a 
corollary to Home Rule. Parnell, who possessed something 
of Rhodes's gift of looking ahead, was so intensely impressed 
by the vital and far-seeing arguments of the latter that he 
announced his firm belief that Home Rule for Ireland would 
at last lead to Imperial Federation. 

WESTMINSTEB PALACE HOTEL, 
LONDON, S.W., June 19, 1888. 

DEAB Sm, 1 On my way to the Cape last autumn I had 
the opportunity of frequent conversations with Mr. Swift 
MacNeill upon the subject of Home Rule for Ireland. I then 
told him that I had long had a sympathy with the Irish 
demand for self-government, but that there were certain 
portions of Mr. Gladstone's bill which appeared open to the 
gravest objections. The exclusion of the Irish members from 
Westminster seemed rightly to be considered, both in 
England and the Colonies, as a step in the direction of pure 
separation, while the tribute clauses were on the face of them 
degrading to Ireland, by placing it in the position of a 
conquered province, and were opposed to the first principles 
of constitutional government by sanctioning taxation 
without representation. It has been frequently stated that 
the hearty acquiescence of the Irish members in these 
proposals gave good grounds for believing that they were 
really working for complete separation from England Mr. 

1 Vindex. 



A BLIND TURNING 91 

MacNeill assured me that this was not the case ; that 
naturally the first object of the Irish members was to obtain 
self-government for Ireland ; and that when this, their 
main object, was secured, it did not become them to criticise 
or cavil at the terms of the grant made to them. Moreover, 
he said he believed that the Irish members were only too 
anxious to support Irish representation at Westminster, 
should a suitable scheme containing the necessary provisions 
be brought forward. 

With safeguards, and they must be effective safeguards, 
for the maintenance of Imperial unity, I am of opinion that 
the Home Rule granted should be a reality and not a sham. 

If the Irish are to be conciliated and benefited by the 
grant of self-government, they should be trusted, and trusted 
entirely. 

Otherwise the application of popular institutions to 
Ireland must be deemed impracticable, and the only alter- 
native is the administration of the country as a Crown 
Colony, which plan in the present state of public opinion is 
totally impossible. 

My experience in the Cape Colony leads me to believe that 
the Ulster question is one which would soon settle itself. 

Since the Colonial Office has allowed questions at the 
Cape to be settled by the Cape Parliament, not only has 
the attachment to the Imperial tie been immeasurably 
strengthened, but the Dutch, who form the majority of the 
population, have shown a greatly increased consideration for 
the sentiments of the English members of the community. 

It seems only reasonable to suppose that in an Irish 
Parliament similar consideration would be given to the 
sentiments of that portion of the inhabitants which is at 
present out of sympathy with the national movement. 

I will frankly add that my interest in the Irish question 
has been heightened by the fact that in it I see the possibility 
of the commencement of changes which will eventually 
mould and weld together all parts of the British Empire. 

The English are a conservative people, and like to move 
slowly and, as it were, experimentally. At present there can 



92 EHODES: A LIFE 

be no doubt that the time of Parliament is overcrowded 
with the discussion of trivial and local affairs. 

Imperial matters have to stand their chance of a hearing 
alongside of railway and tram bills. Evidently it must be a 
function of modern legislation to delegate an enormous 
number of questions which now occupy the time of Parliament 
to district councils or local bodies. 

Mr. Chamberlain recognised this fact in his Radical 
programme of 1885, and the need daily grows more urgent. 
Now the removal of Irish affairs to an Irish Legislature would 
be a practical experimental step in the direction of lessening 
the burden upon the central deliberative and legislative 
machine. 

But side by side with the tendency of decentralisation for 
local affairs there is growing up a feeling for the necessity 
of greater union in Imperial matters. The primary tie 
which binds our Empire together is the national one of self- 
defence. The Colonies are already commencing to co- 
operate with and contribute to the mother-country for this 
purpose. 

But if they are to contribute permanently and beneficially, 
they will have to be represented in the Imperial Parliament, 
where the disposition of their contributions must be decided 
upon. 

I do not think that it can be denied that the presence of 
two or three Australian members in the House would in 
recent years have prevented much misunderstanding upon 
such questions as the New Hebrides, New Guinea, and 
Chinese immigration. Now an Irish representation at 
Westminster would, without making any vital change in the 
English constitution, furnish a precedent by which the self- 
governing Colonies could from time to time, as they expressed 
a desire to contribute to Imperial expenditure, be incorporated 
with the Imperial Legislature. You will perhaps say that 
I am making the Irish question a stalking-horse for a scheme 
of Imperial Federation, but if so, I am at least placing 
Ireland in the forefront of the battle. 

The question is, moreover, one in which I take a deep 



A BLIND TURNING 93 

interest, and I shall be obliged if you can tell me that 
Mr. MacNeill is not mistaken in the impression he conveyed 
to me, and that you and your party would be prepared to 
give your hearty support and approval to a Home Rule Bill 
containing provisions for the continuance of Irish repre- 
sentation at Westminster. Such a declaration would afford 
great satisfaction to myself and others, and would enable 
us to give our full and active support to your cause and 
your party. 

Yours faithfully, 

C. J. RHODES. 

To this letter Parnell replied clearly and definitely on 
June 23rd as follows : 

HOUSE OF COMMONS, 
June 23, 1888. 

DEAB SIR, I am much obliged to you for your letter of 
the 20th instant, which confirms the very interesting account 
given me at Avondale last January by Mr. Swift MacNeill 
as to his interviews and conversations with you on the subject 
of Home Rule for Ireland. 

I may say at once and frankly that I think you have 
correctly judged the exclusion of the Irish members from 
Westminster to have been a defect in the Home Rule measure 
of 1886, and further, that this proposed exclusion may have 
given some colour to the accusations so freely made against 
the Bill, that it had a separatist tendency. I say this while 
strongly asserting and believing that the measure itself was 
accepted by the Irish people without any afterthought of 
the kind, and with an earnest desire to work it out in the 
same spirit in which it was offered, a spirit of cordial goodwill 
and trust, a desire to let bygones be bygones, and a deter- 
mination to accept it as a final and satisfactory settlement 
of the long-standing dispute and trouble between Great 
Britain and Ireland. 

I am very glad to find that you consider the measure of 
Home Rule to be granted to Ireland should be thoroughgoing, 
and should give her complete control over her own affairs 



94 RHODES: A LIFE 

without reservation, and I cordially agree with your opinion 
that there should be at the same time effective safeguards for 
the maintenance of Imperial unity. 

Your conclusion as to the only alternative for Home Rule 
is also entirely my own, for I have long felt that the con- 
tinuance of the present semi-constitutional system is quite 
impracticable. 

But to return to the question of the retention of the 
Irish members at Westminster, my own views upon the point, 
the probabilities of the future, and the bearing of this 
subject upon the question of Imperial Federation. My own 
feeling upon the matter is that if Mr. Gladstone includes in 
his next Home Rule measure provisions for such retention, 
we should cheerfully concur in them, and accept them with 
goodwill and good faith, with the intention of taking our 
share in the Imperial partnership. I believe also that in the 
event stated this will be the case, and that the Irish people 
will cheerfully accept the duties and responsibilities assigned 
to them, and will justly value the position given them in the 
Imperial system. 

I am convinced that it would be the highest statesmanship 
on Mr. Gladstone's part to devise a feasible plan for the con- 
tinued presence of the Irish members here, and from my 
observation of public events and opinions since 1885, I am 
sure that Mr. Gladstone is fully alive to the importance of 
the matter, and that there can be no doubt that the next 
measure of autonomy for Ireland will contain the provisions 
which you rightly deem of such moment. It does not come 
so much within my province to express a full opinion upon 
the question of Imperial Federation, but I quite agree with 
you that the continued Irish representation at Westminster 
will immensely facilitate such a step, while the contrary 
provision in the Bill of 1886 would have been a bar. Un- 
doubtedly this is a matter which should be dealt with in 
accordance with the opinion of the Colonies themselves, and 
if they should desire to share in the cost of Imperial matters, 
as certainly they now do in the responsibility, and should 
express a wish for representation at Westminster, I quite 



A BLIND TURNING 95 

think it should be accorded to them, and that public opinion 
in these islands would unanimously concur in the necessary 
constitutional modifications. 

I am, dear Sir, 
Yours truly, 

CHARLES STEWART PARNELL. 

Upon the receipt of this Rhodes feeling that the ground 
was cleared sent his cheque with a further note to Parnell. 

WESTMINSTER PALACE HOTEL, 

LONDON, June, 24, 1888. 

DEAR MR. PARNELL, I have to thank you for your letter 
of the 23rd instant, the contents of which have given me 
great pleasure. 

I feel sure that your cordial approval of the retention of 
Irish representation at Westminster will gain you support 
in many quarters from which it has hitherto been withheld. 
As a proof of my deep and sincere interest in the question, 
and as I believe that the action of the Irish party on the 
basis which you have stated will lead not to disintegration 
but really to a closer union of the Empire, making it an 
Empire in reality and not in name only, I am happy to 
offer a contribution to the extent of 10,000 to the funds of 
your party. I am also authorised to offer you a further 
sum of 1000 from Mr. John Morrogh, an Irish resident in 
Kimberley, South Africa. 

Believe me, 

Yours faithfully, 

C. J. RHODES. 

P.8. I herewith enclose a cheque for 5000 as my first 
instalment. 

I only once heard Rhodes discuss the Parnell matter. 
Sir Charles Metcalfe and three members of the House of 
Commons were staying with him at the time George 
Wyndham, Hayes-Fisher (afterwards Lord Downham), and 
one of the Yorkshire family of Pease. 



96 RHODES: A LIFE 

Rhodes, at their request, described at length a long inter- 
view he had with Parnell and many of the discussions he had 
held with Mr. Swift MacNeill, who, he said, had told him 
long before he met Parnell that the question of retaining a 
certain Irish membership at Westminster might on the ideas 
put forward by hi (Rhodes) be acceptable to the former. 
c That being so,' he added, ' it caused me to think that I 
would soon have Parnell sharing breakfast with me, but he 
was the hardest man, but one, to convince whom I ever met. 
He trusted no one. I tell you that man suspected his own 
shadow. He was unhappy and saw little good in the world, 
but I do think he meant well by Ireland, and after a pro- 
longed talk I got him into agreement with me, but I did not 
care for him there was too much of the gimlet in him : he 
was not quite human.' 

Asked by Wyndham and Hayes-Fisher as to what his real 
object was in giving such a large contribution to Parnell's 
fund, Rhodes said that he had been much interested by Mr. 
Swift MacNeill's views, and thought a great opportunity 
offered for pressing forward his ideas on Imperial Federa- 
tion, and he felt that if he secured Parnell's co-operation it 
would most probably solve the Irish question and pave the 
way for a general federation of the various units of the 
British Empire. I recall that Hayes-Fisher and Pease in- 
clined to the opinion that Parnell would in all probability 
have eventually been forced to draw back to some extent 
from the views he expressed to Rhodes, but the latter in- 
sisted that having given his word Parnell would hold to it, 
and in this he was backed up by George Wyndham. One 
further remark he made was, ' I would have liked Parnell 
better if he had used fewer stalking-horses ! ' 

Parnell remained so immensely impressed by Rhodes's 
views that in 1889 when he conferred with Gladstone on 
possible features of the next Home Rule Bill, he wrote again 
to Rhodes, then in South Africa, assuring him that the re- 
tention of the Irish members at Westminster was to be a part 
of the Bill, although Gladstone had insisted on reducing 
that representation. Whatever his shortcomings, when 



A BLIND TURNING 97 

Parnell pledged his word it was to be relied upon, and to 
Rhodes he gave a solemn pledge. He had been greatly im- 
pressed by him, more so than by any other man he knew, 
so he stated to Maguire, and there is no doubt that Rhodes 
influenced Parnell materially and favourably in regard to 
Imperial Federation. 

So ended a phase in Rhodes's career which has been more 
severely criticised than any other but one. Yet, studied 
closely, it proves to have been the germ of a great Imperial 
plan, that was not destined to come to fruition, possibly 
because Rhodes was unable to give to it the close attention 
he usually devoted to all his work. 

Had Parnell lived and remained the leader of a united 
party, the Home Rule Bill of 1893 would undoubtedly 
have contained Rhodes's clause of c Colonial Representation 
proportionate to contributions for Imperial purposes.' 



CHAPTER X 

DEVELOPMENTS AND DIFFICULTIES 

1888-1889 

THE life and career of Rhodes has been compared to that of 
Robert Olive. At any rate, it seems tolerably certain that 
the annals of the old East India Company played a large 
part in Rhodes's dreams, and directed to some extent his 
plans of Empire-building. He had lived a great deal at the 
Cape, which is haunted by old memories and traditions of 
the Dutch East Indiamen and is planted in many places 
with certain kinds of grass brought there from the Dutch 
Indies. Moreover, in the trust deed of De Beers, Rhodes 
had insisted on there being provision for the creation of just 
such a vast and powerful company as that which first gained 
for us a footing in India. 

He had found by experience that the Cape politicians 
possessed insufficient backbone and resource to be anything 
but parochial, and he also realised that the Imperial Govern- 
ment dreaded facing the expenses of the occupation of 
further territory. There was, he decided, no other method 
on which a man might definitely count at this time for en- 
larging the Empire but by private enterprise ; and to this 
idea he had held tenaciously throughout his struggle to safe- 
guard the country north of the Transvaal, so that it should 
in time be brought under the British flag. 

The inroads into Matabeleland of both Boers and Portu- 
guese, in addition to British concession hunters, had con- 
vinced Rhodes that Moffat J s merely negative concession, useful 
though it had been as a wedge in his policy of expansion, 
was no longer sufficiently solid to hold the way to the north. 

News was brought to Rhodes that a great Dutch trek was 

98 



DEVELOPMENTS AND DIFFICULTIES 99 

being organised to start towards Matabeleland along that 
direct road to the north which he had long ago earmarked 
for British occupation ; and he realised that the time had 
come when it was necessary to push the Government to- 
wards definite and swift action, or lose for ever c the balance 
of the map * in Africa. 

In January 1888 Rhodes and his friend, Alfred Beit, de- 
spatched a Mr. Fry to Lobengula's kraal, where he would 
act as agent until the great scheme of Imperial colonization 
could gain a firmer footing. Unfortunately, Fry became ill, 
and was forced to return without ever reaching Bulawayo. 
But Rhodes, knowing that the time had come when every 
move was of desperate importance, immediately sent up a 
second and well-equipped party which reached Bulawayo in 
September 1888, having despatched a letter ahead warning 
Lobengula of their coming. This party consisted of his old 
partner and friend, C. D. Rudd, Rochfort Maguire, an 
Oxford comrade, and Frank Thompson, a Eimberley 
friend of Rhodes's, who was a fluent speaker of several 
native languages. The last-named, however, was not 
altogether a sound choice, for, as his father had been mur- 
dered by natives, his nerves felt the strain of the long and 
protracted wait at the king's kraal, dependent on the whim 
of a ruler who was known to keep his young warriors in hand 
with difficulty, and surrounded by thousands of warlike 
Matabele who wished to rid their country of the white men. 

These three were definitely charged by Rhodes to obtain 
from Lobengula a concession of all the mineral rights in his 
territories. Rudd took with him a characteristic note from 
Rhodes to Newton now Sir Francis Newton then assis- 
tant Imperial Commissioner in Bechuanaland, from which 
we see how keenly Rhodes felt in regard to Matabeleland at 
this time. It ran : 

KlMBERLEY CLTJB, 

KIMBEELEY, August, 1888. 
MY DBAB NEWTON, 

Rudd will give you this letter. I have done my best, and 
hope as soon as I am clear also to start and join in enterprise. 



100 RHODES : A LIFE 

I hope you will be able to help Rudd in any little matters 
he may ask. I think it will be as well for him to turn off 
and see Shippard before going on to Gubulawayo. I intend 
also to go up as soon as De Beers' matters are settled. 

I quite think Kruger may fight for the interior, but I think 
this time we shall beat him ; there will be no support for hi 
from the Colony, and we can recruit all right. Besides which, 
he has a nasty factor in Johannesburg and Barberton. 

I am awfully restless that I cannot get away to run my 

hobby in Matabeleland. ^ 

J Yours ever, ~ T ^ 

C. J. RHODES. 

Very shortly after this Rhodes obsessed now by his 
scheme for a great company with unrestricted powers, and 
impatient for news of the Rudd mission, the result of which 
he knew could not be certain for several months paid 
another flying visit to London, during which time he met 
and corresponded, as we have seen, with Parnell. While 
there he invited Mr. William Rhodes, the owner at that time 
of the Rhodes family estates at Dalston, to visit him in South 
Africa an invitation that was accepted at a later date. 

On his return in September of the same year, Rhodes 
made a fine and comprehensive speech to his constituents 
at Barkly West. Apparently he felt that the time had come 
when at last he might hope to rouse men to a realisation of 
his dream of Empire. He said : 

* My feelings are that we have made great mistakes in the 
past ; that we are quite capable of taking the responsibility 
of Bechuanaland, and, when the time arrives, the respon- 
sibility of Matabeleland. The wise course is for us to admit 
our regret for the fact that we neglected the opportunity of 
railway communication and free trade with the Transvaal ; 
to admit we have lost that through our own fault, and 
that our future lies in the interior ; to realise that whenever 
the Transvaal chooses to approach us we should do every- 
thing that lies in our power to connect Pretoria with Cape 
Town and to assist its communication with Delagoa Bay. 
But the Cape Colony should claim to hold the keys of the 



DEVELOPMENTS AND DIFFICULTIES 101 

interior, ... we should state by our own policy that we are 
prepared to take the administration right through to the 
Zambesi ; and that we feel that Cape Colony must be and shall 
be the dominant state in South Africa. If our possessions 
stretch from Cape Town to the Zambesi no one can deny 
that assertion.' 

That was the last political speech Rhodes made for some 
time to come, for as the next year was devoted to work in 
connection with his * hobby ' of Empire-making, he made 
few appearances in the House. 

Eudd and his companions reached Bulawayo not a 
moment too soon. They were closely followed by Renny- 
Tailyour, who, supported by Herr Lippert, a wealthy Ger- 
man financier, was also seeking to obtain a concession ; and 
Mr. E. A. Maund, representing George Cawston's Exploring 
Company, arrived during the next month. There were also 
a number of other Europeans already at Lobengula's kraal 
upon one sort of business or another, for this till then almost 
unknown country was now attracting great interest in the 
world. 

There was the missionary Helm, who for a long time had 
a strong and moderating influence over Lobengula, and 
whose hospitality was generously given to every white man 
who visited the king's capital, no matter what his character ; 
Fairbairn, who had been made custodian of the king's great 
elephant seal an arrangement which led to difficulties 
later ; Usher, and several other adventurers, traders and 
prospectors, among whom were Messrs. Boggie, Chadwick, 
and Wilson, who thereupon became the determined sup- 
porters of Rhodes's men. The representatives of two rival 
syndicates were claiming rights over some land the title to 
which was disputed by Lobengula and Khama. Other 
Britons, Boers, and Germans were worrying Lobengula by 
their continual demands and by the differences of opinions 
existing among them. Since all white men spoke with 
divergent tongues and apparently voiced different opinions, 
the old king was indeed perplexed. He found some relief 
in the cases of champagne presented to him by one or other 



102 KHODES : A LIFE 

of the rival applicants, which, unfortunately, did not lead 
him to a clearer judgment or a stronger control over his 
impis, all of whom were anxious to rid their country of the 
white men, who encroached in greater numbers every year. 
Piet Grobler, whom Kruger had appointed Transvaal Consul 
in direct defiance of the Moffat Treaty, was killed by an 
impi of Khama. As a result Sir Sidney Shippard, Com- 
missioner of Bechuanaland, whom Lobengula called 'the 
good white man,' also visited Bulawayo at this time. His 
presence at the king's kraal undoubtedly influenced Lobengula 
more favourably towards Rudd and his companions, and a 
contemporary at this time wrote that Sir Sidney Shippard 
and Rhodes were * playing a lone hand for the Empire.' * 

Rudd, Maguire, and Thompson waited a month at Bula- 
wayo in daily dread of being murdered. Though they had 
frequent interviews with the king, at first they made little 
progress. All interviews were conducted in the unpleasant 
surroundings of the royal goat kraal, amid heat, flies, and 
dust, while the envoys were expected to take their part in 
the trying custom of beer-drinking and beef -eating which 
etiquette demanded. After the visit of Sir Sidney Shippard 
matters went better for Rhodes's envoys, and at length on 
October 30, 1888, following on an indaba lasting two days, 
Lobengula, realising clearly that unless he made terms with 
one of the rival nations who were casting jealous eyes on 
his rich territory, he might find himself overwhelmed by 
irresponsible parties, placed his mark, with Mr. Helm's 
assistance, to the document which, in exchange for certain 
payments, granted to Rudd and his comrades a mineral 
concession over all his territory. 

The consideration promised to Lobengula included the 
sum of one hundred pounds sterling to be paid on the first 
day of every month ; and one thousand Martini-Henry rifles 
with a hundred thousand rounds of ammunition, half of 
which were to be ordered from England at once and de- 
livered with reasonable despatch, and the remainder ' so soon 
as the said grantees shall have commenced to work mining 

iMichell. 



DEVELOPMENTS AND DIFFICULTIES 103 

machinery within my territory ' ; and further, the delivery 
on the Zambesi of a river steamboat with guns. 

It is probable that at this time, with all a native's love of 
money and the goods of civilisation, especially arms even 
without the knowledge of how to use them Lobengula felt 
that he had been very astute and had got the better of the 
white men who were so tiresome. Although no native mind 
could foresee the whole future result of such a treaty, it is 
certain that he well understood its literal purport, and agreed 
to it. Rudd, through the well-known missionary, Mr. Helm, 
took special care to see to that. 

Having gained all that he had hoped for, Rudd, having 
been ' given the road ' by Lobengula, at once trekked away 
to the south with the concession in his pocket, and a friendly 
request from the king that he would bring up his ' big brother 
Rhodes ' * next time. Maguire and Thompson stayed 
behind to * hold the fort ' and keep Lobengula in a friendly 
frame of mind. 

Rudd had a terrible journey south, for the water holes 
across the Bechuana desert were dried up at that season and 
rains were later than usual in breaking. Had it not been for 
the help of some kindly Bechuanas, who discovered him 
lying insensible after he had hidden the precious concession 
in an ant bear hole, neither he nor the document would ever 
have been heard of again, and all his patient planning would 
have been made abortive by drought. 

He found Rhodes at Kimberley, just returned from Eng- 
land with his kinsman, from whom he had at last succeeded 
in buying the Dalston estates. 

We may imagine with what feelings Rhodes received the 
actual paper giving him a foothold on the * country of his 
dreams. 9 

On December 5th, 1888, the High Commissioner received 
a copy of the Rudd Concession and forwarded this to the 
Colonial Office with the following remark : c The rush of 
concession hunters to Matabeleland has produced a condi- 
tion of affairs dangerous to the peace of the country. I trust 

i Williams. 



104 RHODES: A LIFE 

therefore that the effect of this concession to a gentleman of 
character and financial standing will be to check the inroad 
of adventurers as well as to secure the cautious development 
of the country with a proper consideration for the feelings 
and prejudices of the natives.' 

For some time after Rudd's departure from Bulawayo, 
Maguire and Thompson retained their influence with Loben- 
gula and were able to keep his mind free from disturbing 
elements, even persuading him to give public notice of his 
grant of the concession, which from Rhodes's point of view 
was a very advisable step, seeing that he was now at work 
on the foundation of a company for the development of the 
country. But towards the end of the year 1888 they lost 
their power with Lobengula through a small error of tact, 
it is said and Maund, who possessed great charm of manner 
and a readiness of speech which went far towards convincing 
the native mind of the importance of Ms position, was 
promoted to high favour. 

Maund had undoubtedly gained the friendship of Loben- 
gula, with whom Renny-Tailyour was also on the best of 
terms, and these gentlemen secured certain concessions from 
the King which Rhodes was uneasy about, fearing that these 
might damage the greater one Rudd had obtained for him. 
At this time Lobengula was considerably disturbed over 
certain encroachments of the Portuguese from the North and 
East into the territory he claimed kingship over. He con- 
sulted with Maund and Renny-Tailyour, and on their advice, 
after a full meeting with his indunas and councillors, he 
wrote a letter to the Queen, which was to be carried to her 
by two of his leading headmen under the charge of Maund. 

This letter, which was of very great importance, read as 
follows : 

I, Lobengula, King of the Amandebele, hearing that the 
Portuguese wrongfully claim and purpose giving away rights 
belonging to me and my people on the Zambesi, do hereby 
declare that my boundaries go down from beyond the Sabi River 
and embrace the River Mazoe with all its tributaries down to the 
Kangudzi River. My territory extends also on the North side 
of the Zambesi, forming a tract from a line north from the 



DEVELOPMENTS AND DIFFICULTIES 105 

mouth of the Guay River, thence to its junction with the Zambesi, 
embracing the Guanga, a large river. The Southern bank of the 
Zambesi is all my people's country to Tete. I cannot understand 
how the Portuguese, who have never been to me, can claim the 
Zambesi River, as I hold the country on either side, and have a 
fleet of boats on the river for the passage of my people and impis. 
Neither can I understand how they dare sell my country on the 
Mazoe River. 

I send two of my headmen to England to the Queen, to ask 
how these things can be. To ask for protection. I mean by this 
to be defended against my enemies. 

Signed for Lo Bengula, 

E. A. MATJND (Elephant Seal). 1 
Umvujene, November 24 1888. 
In the presence of 

CHAS. D. HELM, London Missionary Society. 

J. W. COLEKBRANDEB. 

Interpreted by W. I. TATNTON. 

There was nothing in this detrimental to Rhodes's con- 
cession. Rather the reverse, for it set out very clearly those 
boundaries of Lobengula's territory over which the Portu- 
guese were trespassing. Unfortunately word had been sent to 
Rhodes telling him that a letter which the authors hoped the 
King would sign had been drawn up by Maund and Renny- 
Tailyour, which was likely to upset his concession. When 
Maund arrived at Kimberley with Lobengula's ambassadors, 
he and Rhodes had some heated passages over the matter. 
Maund refused to show Rhodes the letter and proceeded to 
Cape Town, where he found it necessary to produce it to the 
High Commissioner and give particulars of its origin before 
he got permission to take the two indunas to England. 
Rhodes meanwhile had arrived in Cape Town and was at 
last shown the letter, the value of which to both concessions 
he quickly realised, and he at once began to evolve a scheme 
for amalgamating their joint interests. Strongly advising 
Maund to proceed to England with Lobengula's embassy, 
Rhodes said he would follow in two or three weeks, and hoped 
the difficulties which had arisen between them would then 
be settled amicably. 

Maund arrived in London late in February and Rhodes at 
1 Copy sent by E. A. Maund to author. 



106 RHODES: A LIFE 

the end of March. He at once set to work in his customary 
energetic fashion, and in the course of a few weeks all the 
conflicting interests were brought into line, and a completely 
satisfactory agreement was signed by Rhodes, Maund and 
the latter's Company. 

It is easy to appreciate how anxious Rhodes must have 
been at this time. He had gained what he had so long 
striven for the concession in Matabeleland ; but even now, 
by reason of the plotting of various individuals, he found 
unexpected difficulties cropping up. The completion of the 
agreement with Maund's Company would be of considerable 
service to him, but he was having worrying letters about the 
activities of many concession hunters, who had made their 
way to Bulawayo on hearing of his success, although it had 
not yet been confirmed by the Imperial Government. Rudd 
had done well brilliantly but since he had left Matabele- 
land things had not gone satisfactorily. Rhodes himself was 
pestered by a horde of adventurers, most of whom brought 
forward more or less fraudulent claims which they attempted 
usually -with little success to force him to buy ; while the 
news from Bulawayo made him extremely uneasy. Des- 
patches from Rochfort Maguire indicated that he was more 
than bored and who would not have been, practically 
immured as he was in a native kraal with impis of a hostile 
and extremely uncertain temper on all sides ! while Thomp- 
son, obviously ill at ease, was constantly sending down to 
Rhodes long letters explaining the difficulties of the situation 
and the methods he was applying in dealing with all and 
every problem. 

Rhodes began to worry. He realised that Maguire was 
pining for the comforts he loved, and that Thompson's 
nerves were giving way. In his difficulty he turned to his 
staunch friend, Jameson. Would Jameson go north, soothe 
the uncertain monarch, and bring back definite word as to 
conditions ? The first consignment of rifles and ammuni- 
tion was also to be delivered at this time. 

For a while Jameson held out. He had his practice. He 
was doing extremely well in Kimberley and was recognised 



DEVELOPMENTS AND DIFFICULTIES 107 

as a brilliant surgeon, and he knew that if lie undertook 
this mission to Bulawayo it meant the abandonment of his 
professional career. In the end two factors outweighed all 
his sound arguments the persuasions of Rhodes, of whom 
he was very fond, and his own unsatisfied passion for 
adventure. Reading the latest message to Rhodes from 
Bulawayo, he realised the need for instant action to save the 
position. c I will go/ he said. Rhodes meanwhile, as was 
a habit of his when he became moved over things, was walk- 
ing with quick short steps rapidly to and fro with hands 
behind his back, his head inclined a little to the left and toes 
somewhat turned in. ' But when, Jameson ? When will 
you start ? ' he asked. 

c To-morrow morning,' was the prompt reply, and at sun- 
rise next day Jameson was on his way. This was early in 
February, the same month in which Maund and his indunas 
reached England. 

Jameson had some months previously accompanied Dr. 
Rutherfoord Harris on a short visit to Lobengula, but on 
that occasion his avowed object was a holiday and some 
big-game shooting. Now he went on a very different un- 
dertaking. Vast difficulties lay before him, for he knew 
nothing then of the native language or of their complicated 
customs and politics. Even Rhodes felt rather nervous as 
to Jameson's chance of success, but as it turned out, sending 
' the Doctor ' instead of going himself to Lobengula amounted 
almost to a stroke of genius, since it was a case of the right 
man in the right place. Jameson had by this time come 
completely under the spell of Rhodes's dream, and he now 
took his position as one of the leaders of the expansion move- 
ment precisely at the moment when a man of courage, quick 
decision and, above all, tact was needed. Jameson possessed 
all three attributes, and without him it is possible that for a 
time at least the whole movement would have broken down. 

In March Rhodes came to England. He saw clearly that 
before the actual formation of the great company which he 
planned should develop all of Matabeleland under a charter 
from the Imperial Government, other rival companies 



108 RHODES : A LIFE 

Cawston's Exploration Company in particular must be ab- 
sorbed on the same principle as that by which he had built 
up his great diamond monopoly. Having this in mind and also 
the gaining of an Imperial charter, Rhodes arrived in London 
shortly after Maund and the indunas, and lost no time in 
conferring with the Secretary of State for the Colonies on the 
subject of Lobengula's letter, the results being satisfactory. 

The indunas were granted an audience with the Queen, 
and were assured that their Bong's letter would be given full 
consideration. After some months they turned homeward, 
carrying a somewhat indefinite letter from the Colonial 
Secretary to Lobengula and another from the Aborigines 
Protection Society, still escorted by Maund, who had mean- 
while completed his part of the agreement. On his arrival 
at Cape Town he received a cable explaining what further 
had transpired in London over the amalgamation of interests 
between Rhodes and the Exploring Company, and he was 
now instructed to throw the weight of any influence he 
possessed on the side of the Rudd Concession. He reached 
Bulawayo early in August, and explained matters to Loben- 
gula, who, during his absence, had been visited by Jameson 
and Moffat, and was therefore less harassed and uneasy in 
mind than when Maund left. 

Jameson, who had reached Bulawayo on April 2nd, found 
Moffat was back again as King's Adviser, a post which he 
described as ' an official kept on the spot as a medium of 
communication between the Government and the Chief,' x 
and at a later date was defined as British Resident. 

Jameson was well received by the king, and the rifles and 
ammunition were duly delivered with some ceremony, 
although at that time Lobengula did not formally take 
possession of these. He c placed them in charge of a guard 
of his own soldiers under Mr. Chadwick, an action which 
Maguire and Thompson regarded as amounting to accept- 
ance and therefore ratification of the concession.' a 

On this visit to Bulawayo, Jameson, in addition to making 
a good impression on the king, cured him of an attack of 
1 Marshall-Hole. * Cooper Chadwick : Three Tears with Lobengula. 



DEVELOPMENTS AND DIFFICULTIES 109 

gout which, had baffled the local witch doctors. Jameson, 
keeping all his wits on the alert, was soon enabled to form 
an opinion of the uncertainties threatening the success of 
Rhodes's plans, which at that time were liable to be upset 
either by a too conservative Home Government or by the 
whims of a savage monarch who might at any moment 
listen to the counsels of jealous and disappointed concession 
hunters on the one hand, or to the advice of his warlike 
impis on the other, instead of to the wiser words of Moffat, 
Helm, and those who were loyal to Rhodes. 

One of the main objects of his mission was to secure per- 
mission from Lobengula for the passage through part of 
Matabeleland of the pioneer force which was then being 
formed for the occupation of Mashonaland. Gradually he 
won the confidence of the king, but the indunas were still 
very suspicious despite Lobengula's favour, which he marked 
by creating Jameson an induna of his own favourite regiment, 
the Lnbezu, decorating hrm with all the paraphernalia asso- 
ciated with the honour. The position of induna gave Jame- 
son a number of most useful advantages, but it took many 
weeks of patient persuasion on his part before he secured 
what he desired. In the end, however, Lobengula and his 
council yielded, and having done all he could to advance 
matters and this must have been a good deal, for Loben- 
gula remarked, ' it is a pity the doctor cannot speak my 
language, for we would then get on well ' Jameson started 
south on April 12th. Maguire went down with him, for it 
was felt he could give useful help at Kimberley in sifting the 
few real claims from the mass of fraudulent ones still being 
brought against Rudd's Concession. Thompson was left to 
keep the ear of the king. Unfortunately, at this time he 
was a very anxious man and far from well, and not there- 
fore calculated to inspire confidence in anyone, certainly 
not in a tribe of natives, who as a result of the determined 
circulation of insidious rumours had become suspicious of the 
intentions of the white men and of the purport of the paper 
their ruler had signed. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE CHARTER 
1889-1890 

MEANWHILE, Rhodes in London had not only absorbed two 
rival companies the Exploring Company and Lord Gifford's 
Bechuanaland Exploration Company but had made many 
important friendships. On this occasion he was regarded, 
not as a successful diamond speculator, or even a powerful 
politician and financier, but as a great man possessed of 
immense power and vast wealth, who was also the potential 
owner of a territory comprising some 174,000 square miles 
(the boundaries of which he was still pushing forward) which 
might one day form a prosperous outlet for the surplus 
population of Great Britain. 

Small wonder that Rhodes was now lionised. People 
little-minded people who had never moved further than 
London crowded to see the Empire-maker, the first Eng- 
lishman to combine successfully business with romance. 
This was the secret ; the reason which made the public 
support the British South Africa Company so strongly and 
so surprisingly swiftly when its shares were first placed on 
the market. 

Still Rhodes lived very simply and spent all his days in 
business connected with De Beers or the Gold Fields or in 
pushing forward the scheme nearest to his heart. He never 
cared either for society or banquets, observing that c he saw 
no reason to make his interior a dustbin for anyone ! ' But 
he enjoyed entertaining a few friends at dinner, and after- 
wards he would unbend and talk openly and frankly of his 
thoughts and ideas. * If you wish to keep anything secret, 

no 



THE CHARTER ill 



talk about it as if it were known by everybody,' he exclaimed. 
He was fond of starting an argument on some passing event 
or from a phrase he had read. It was one of his chief forms 
of relaxation. 

But affairs did not go all smoothly for Ehodes. Like any 
man of strong character, he had enemies and they were power- 
ful ones. MacKenzie, his old antagonist in Bechuanaland 
was back in England, urging the Government to part with no 
more power in South Africa. He was backed by the Aborigines 
Protection Society and the London Chamber of Commerce, 
and these bodies supplied Lord Knutsf ord with innumerable 
memoranda explaining that direct Crown government was 
the only method of securing justice for the natives. The 
South African Committee attacked Eudd as c a Cape Colonist 
who is believed to have received support in the commercial 
part of his undertaking from persons in authority at the 
Cape ... a single speculator who buys for an old song the 
most valuable territory in South Africa.' l Bradlaugh and 
Labouchere in the House of Commons were unpleasantly 
inquisitive in regard to the gift of arms to Lobengula. 

On the other hand Ehodes interested everyone he met, 
and often many who disliked him before getting acquainted 
with him became his firm friends when they knew him. 
He was brought into contact with W. T. Stead much against 
the latter's wishes, for he was an ally of MacKenzie, and 
Stead was so drawn to Ehodes that he remained a lifelong 
friend in spite of their divergence in political and other 
opinions. Ehodes found in Stead a brain capable of appre- 
ciating all his dreams. To him he confided his thoughts and 
his ideas, and even made hi j^g executor. 

At this time F. C. Selous, the great African hunter and 
explorer, was busy with a concession he had gained from a 
Makori-kori chief, which concession, however, after consider- 
able conversations with Ehodes in London he agreed to relin- 
quish for a certain consideration and he undertook to work for 
Ehodes and the charter instead. In a letter to the Duke of 
Abercorn, Ehodes explained the position : ' Selous was about 

1 Williams. 



112 RHODES : A LIFE 

to write a series of articles advocating that Mashonaland was 
independent of Lobengula and had never been under his 
control. I saw at once the danger of our position if a series 
of articles appeared in the papers from a man of Selous' 
position claiming that Mashonaland was independent of 
Lobengula. Selous said that of course when he went in he 
had no idea we should get a charter, but when he saw that 
the only hope of the country was the success of the charter, 
he proposed with Mr. Johnson who had also been there 
and several others to go in and occupy the country for the 
charter. He agreed to abandon his concession, which I told 
him was not worth the paper it was written on, for in 1888 
the Queen officially recognised Lobengula as sovereign of 
both the Matabele and Mashona peoples, while the British 
Government stated to the Portuguese Government that he 
was an independent king and undisputed ruler over Mata- 
beleland and Mashonaland. Johnson, Borrow, and Heany 
also had shares in this concession and all agreed to tear up 
their scrip. They deemed it fair if I could give Selous 
something for the time and labour he had spent. I gave 
hi personally two thousand pounds out of my own private 
funds, but on the distinct understanding that it was nothing 
to do with his concession and that I recognised it in no sort 
of way. . . . They then proposed that they should take the 
responsibility of making the occupation of Mashonaland with 
a body of about five hundred men and ninety waggons. 
They wished to do it by contract.' 

Having settled matters with Selous, Rhodes took the 
opportunity of discussing with hfm the best way to under- 
take the occupation of the newly acquired territory so far 
ahead had his ideas already reached beyond the mere gain- 
ing of the charter. Selous, who knew and had hunted over 
a great part of Lobengula's country, suggested that the 
eastern part of the territory, Mashonaland, should first be 
colonised ; this portion being on higher ground would be 
healthier, and also there would be less chance of the white 
people coming into contact with Lobengula's fierce impis. 

In his determination to enlarge the Imperial boundaries 



THE CHAPTER 113 



the Irish. Party were inclined to support Rhodes. Sir 
Hercules Robinson, now in London, did his utmost to in- 
fluence the Colonial Office in Rhodes's favour until gradually 
the Government came to see that since they were not being 
asked to finance the new territory, there could be little harm 
in letting Rhodes and his company go ahead, shoiddering 
all risk and responsibility of claiming for England a country 
which might or on the other hand might not turn out 
to be a valuable addition to the Empire. On the whole 
the odds were in favour of Matabeleland, therefore by all 
means let Mr. Rhodes go ahead and find out. Something 
like that, one imagines, must have been in the minds of the 
Government at that time. 

Lord Knutsf ord was gradually converted to the idea ; 
Lord Salisbury, seeing that the House of Commons was not 
asked to vote any money, refrained from opposing the peti- 
tion ; the Duke of Abercorn was willing to become the first 
chairman; the Duke of Fife joined the Board, and then 
Rhodes, with that sure instinct of finding the key log in a 
jam, sought out Albert Grey (subsequently fourth Earl Grey 
and Governor-General of Canada), who as a member of the 
South African Committee had been one of Rhodes's keenest 
opponents, and by patient argument entirely won him over 
to his own views and persuaded him to accept a seat on the 
Board, on which Lord Gifford and Alfred Beit also agreed 
to serve. 

On July 13th a petition was presented to the Imperial 
authorities begging that Her Majesty's Government would 
undertake that the interest which had been loyally acquired 
by the directors of the British South Africa Company should 
receive the recognition and moral support of the Govern- 
ment under a royal charter. 

Having done all that was possible to ensure the success of 
his scheme, Rhodes, unable to wait in inactivity in London 
while the wheels of state ground out either a royal charter 
for his company or a refusal, returned to Kimberley. But 
just before sailing he astonished the Foreign Office by the 
swiftness of his own methods. On June 1st he writes that, 

M.O.B. H 



114 EHODES: A LIFE 

6 to save time he is willing to pay the Government at once 
the 30,000 which, under the charter, would be due for a 
telegraph line to Mafeking, and a further 4000 a year for 
the upkeep in Bulawayo of a British Resident.' After a 
fortnight comes the answer agreeing in principle to the pro- 
posals. ' To whom shall I make the payments ? ' asks 
Rhodes by return. c Not so fast/ replied the Colonial Office 
a week later, ' you must wait till the charter is granted.' l 

But waiting was to him an impossibility. He realised so 
clearly the shortness of human life, and the amount of work 
at hand. c Everything in the world is too short. Life and 
fame and achievement,' he declared. On one occasion he 
said : ' I should like a long life if it were a full one, and 1 
would like to be active and able to work all through it,' and 
on another he complained rather bitterly that ' a third of 
one's life is lost in waiting for people who have failed to keep 
appointments and in trying to find out if our friends are 
telling the truth.' 

So Rhodes, ever impatient, went back to his work in 
South Africa, and it was well that he did, for on his arrival 
in Kimberley in August he received a startling telegram from 
Thompson at Mafeking saying that he had fled from Bula- 
wayo in danger of his life. Considerable doubt has been 
cast on this statement, but there is no reason to disbelieve 
it. It is highly improbable that Lobengula would have 
given orders to kill Thompson knowing hi to be the friend 
of Rhodes and Jameson, but had he been murdered, as was 
quite possible, by one or other of the fractious indunas, 
Lobengula could not have brought him back to life. It is 
certain that Thompson had not been in the king's favour for 
some time, and on the execution of an induna named Lotje, 
who had strongly advocated the signing of the Rudd Con- 
cession, Thompson felt sure that everyone connected in any 
way with Rhodes and Rudd would be wiped out. 

Evidently the situation in the north was desperate. 
Rhodes saw at once that the flight of Thompson could only 
mean one thing fear to the native mind, and that would 

i Williams. 



THE CHARTER 115 



spell disaster to his interests ; while his absence would give 
an opportunity to his rivals to gain influence over the king. 
Lobengula, it appears, now stated that Jameson was in error 
in thinking that he had received permission for the pioneer 
expedition to pass through the eastern part of Matabeleland. 
Generally, Thompson's statement as to the position was 
highly unfavourable to Rhodes's plans. Rhodes felt Jame- 
son had misled Mm by undue optimism, and he said so some- 
what roughly, sufficiently so to cause Jameson to exclaim : 
* I shall go back at once and prove to you that all I reported 
was accurate, and further I guarantee that Lobengula will 
fulfil his promises, but I must have a free hand to negotiate 
with him and full support from this end. If you do not 
agree to that, you must find someone else to undertake the 
job/ 

Rhodes would willingly have gone himself, more especially 
as he was aware how anxious Lobengula was to see him, but 
he had to be in touch with the Imperial Government ; and 
though he was at first not quite satisfied, he finally said : 
c Go ahead, Jameson. I was wrong. I leave the whole matter 
in your hands with every confidence, and the move now is 
to get off.' For half the night they talked, and next day 
Jameson with two companions, Doyle and Maxwell, set off 
by Cape-cart, and picking up Thompson at Maf eking, reached 
Tati, close to the border of Matabeleland, after some twenty- 
two days' travelling. There he found all the white traders 
and hunters in a state of great alarm, under the impression 
that the Matabele impis were on the warpath and wiping 
out every white in their country, and he was strongly urged 
to go no further. To that advice he paid no heed, but asked 
Sam Edwards, one of the best-known traders in the country 
and a great friend of Lobengula, with F. Dreyer, a well- 
known elephant hunter, to join him. On they went to 
Bulawayo, which they reached about October 20th, and there 
Jameson found a serious position had arisen, due largely to 
the arrival of other would-be concessionaires who were doing 
their utmost to discredit Rhodes and his group. Presents 
of sporting rifles, horses, bulls, rugs, waggons, etc., sur- 



116 RHODES: A LIFE 

rounded the king's huts, and he was befuddled with cham- 
pagne, brandy, and whisky. It was no easy matter to get 
near Lobengula, as since Jameson had been there before the in- 
dunas had come back from London with the Queen's picture. 
Some of her Life Guards were known by Lobengula to be 
on the way with presents to him, and he was being told 
daily that Rhodes was an impostor. And yet the king liked 
what he had heard of Rhodes from Moffat, Helm, and others 
whom he trusted, and unquestionably he had become fond 
of Jameson. His indunas and impis wanted to drive every 
white out of the country and then attack the pioneer force 
when it reached the border. He didn't like letting Rhodes 
and Jameson down, and he became moody and refused to 
talk about the concession. 

Lobengula was suffering now from sore eyes in addition 
to a return of the gout ; his indunas were more difficult than 
usual to restrain ; and above all a band of Portuguese had 
arrived on his northern border rather opportunely, as it 
turned out for Rhodes. 

Jameson determined to see things out, so he remained at 
the king's kraal doctoring his ills, but was not allowed for 
some time any political discussion, the king meanwhile 
passing very scathing remarks as to Thompson's flight. 

Meanwhile, Sir Henry Loch had replaced Sir Hercules 
Robinson as High Commissioner ; and on October 29th, 
1889, the charter was granted confirming Rudd's Concession 
and giving to the British South Africa Company gigantic 
powers and an almost unlimited field of action over a huge 
area of territory which was not defined till 1905. Northward 
indeed it had no limit except that knowing Rhodes's dreams 
we can imagine as an intended boundary only the Mediter- 
ranean. Clauses were inserted for the protection of native 
rights, freedom of religion, and trading concessions. But 
the company had power to make treaties and pass laws ; to 
maintain a police force and acquire new concessions ; and 
to make roads, railways, and harbours. The capital of the 
company was fixed at one million pounds in one pound 
shares. De Beers subscribed for two hundred thousand 



THE CHARTER 117 



shares in addition to the amounts provided by the Gold 
Fields and Rhodes, while a hundred and fifty thousand shares 
were applied for by English and Dutch colonists. This 
pleased Rhodes greatly, as it showed a keen interest being 
taken by these shareholders in the new country. 

Thus the map and the whole history of Africa had now 
been changed by a young Englishman of thirty-six, who 
considered expansion of Empire as the chief reason for the 
Company's existence and the whole object of his own. 

This news soon spread to Matabeleland, and Moffat, who 
at this time was ably helping Jameson, used it most wisely, 
and at last on November 28th Jameson and he were granted 
an indaba with Lobengula. This lasted four hours, of which 
the first two were occupied in abuse of Thompson, and in 
order to appease the king Jameson had to promise that he 
should go and not come back. Mofiat explained that the 
Queen had said everything belonged to Rhodes, who had 
first sent Thompson, Maguire, and Rudd, and then had 
superseded Thompson by Jameson. Jameson produced the 
original concession and gave it to Lobengula, saying he would 
be content to trust to the word of the king a saying which 
greatly appealed to Lobengula, who took the document and, 
without looking at it, asked Moffat to keep it for him. 

When Lobengula told Moffat of a Portuguese force said 
to be raiding his country, he also said that he believed some 
of them to be English, to which Moffat felt himself obliged 
to reply, ' If they are, they have nothing to do with us, and 
I as the Queen's representative give them to you.' This 
answer pleased the king very much, and he then asked 
Moffat if he would write to the Queen for him on the subject. 
To this Moffat agreed, and at the next indaba Moffat fully 
explained to the king the position of a Protectorate. He 
also told the king he had now definite information that the 
charter was granted and that Rhodes, Rudd, Jameson, and 
Maguire were the charter, explaining at the same time that 
they had the power to raise soldiers and protect both them- 
selves and their friends in conjunction with the king of the 
country. 



118 RHODES: A LIFE 

Here the matter was temporarily dropped, and it was left 
for the king (who objected to direct advice) to work out in 
his own mind the connection between his troubles and the 
white men's powers. 

During a further conversation MofiFat again explained that 
the charter was signed by the Queen ; that Rhodes was the 
head of the charter, and that Jameson represented Rhodes ; 
that the charter had power to raise troops for their own 
protection and if necessary to fight the king's enemies. 

Jameson, having improved the king's health, had regained 
his favour his sunny disposition, immense tact and patience 
strongly appealing to Lobengula and he not only obtained 
permission for the prospectors to begin digging for gold on 
the west side of the Tati road, so that the company could 
say that the development of the country had actually begun, 
but he also won from Lobengula a promise to agree to the 
peaceful occupation of the country by a large force of white 
men. Then, feeling that for the time being he could do no 
more, and leaving Doyle as his deputy in the place of Thomp- 
son, he went south, passing through MacloUtsi on the border, 
where the pioneers were gradually being collected for their 
advance, and on to confer with Rhodes in Kimberley. 

In January 1890 three Imperial officers reached Bulawayo 
and handed Lobengula a letter from the Queen announcing 
the grant of a royal charter and recommending the com- 
pany to his most favourable consideration. There is no 
doubt this letter made a great impression on Lobengula. It 
cleared the air as to Rhodes and Jameson, and loyally did 
he afterwards carry out his promises with regard to protect- 
ing all Europeans at his capital and giving the pioneers free 
passage to Mashonaland. By skilful handling he kept his 
recalcitrant indunas in hand till the pioneer force and B.S.A. 
Police had got well established in Mashonaland, and in the 
history of the country and as a great native chief he will 
always remain an outstanding figure. 



CHAPTER XII 

CUTTING THE ROAD 

1890 

RHODES was busy in Cape Town in January 1890 signing 
formal agreements with the Government for the construction 
of a further section of the railway from Kimberley to Mafe- 
fcing, which he hoped would be the backbone of the new 
country, and which under the charter he was bound to 
construct. He also began making plans for what was later 
to become his trans-continental telegraph scheme, since the 
Chartered Company under the terms of its agreement was 
to bear part of the expense of taking the telegraph line the 
construction of which always seemed to Rhodes such a vital 
step to the civilising of any country through the Bechuana- 
land Protectorate. This was his first care, and at the be- 
ginning the expense was borne almost entirely out of his 
private purse ; for he was always ready to sacrifice unhesi- 
tatingly any personal financial advantage to his Imperial 
ambition, and to his desire to paint the map red over all 
the unclaimed portions of the last continent that remained 
open for British expansion. 

When Jameson returned to Kimberley in the early part 
of 1890, he found Rhodes there immersed in many plans, 
which he hoped would in time take shape and result in the 
creation of one gigantic African Empire. 

Kimberley has often been referred to as Rhodes's place of 
destiny. It was at Kimberley that he entirely regained the 
health, which in his youth it was thought he would never 
recover ; at Kimberley he dreamed those first dreams of 
Imperial expansion, and later gained the vast fortune which 

119 



120 RHODES: A LIFE 

enabled him to bring about the realisation of many of them. 
He was at Kimberley when he heard that Rudd had gained 
the concession over Matabeleland ; when the news came of 
the granting of the Charter ; and yet again in days to come 
when word was relayed down of the safe arrival of his 
pioneers in the country which was to bear his name. 

Not content to rest on the charter he had gained, which 
was to make possible the settlement of Mashonaland and 
Matabeleland, Rhodes had also his eye on further lands 
which he felt should and must at all costs be held for Great 
Britain against the several rival nations that were now wish- 
ing to gain a footing in a part of Africa which was believed 
to be immensely wealthy. 

Early in 1890 there were gathered with Rhodes in Kim- 
berley a little band of proved explorers, men whose hunting 
expeditions had in many cases served as forerunners of the 
advance of British settlement men who might be termed 
scouts of the army of civilisation. There was Frank Elliott 
Lochner, whom Rhodes now sent in charge of an expedi- 
tion to Lewanika's kraal in Barotseland ; there was A. R. 
Colquhoun, also Joseph Thomson, starting for what was then 
known as M'siri's country but is now Katanga, a district 
which, while the Congo territory was still indefinite, 
seemed to promise a valuable addition to the Empire. For 
the same purpose Mr. H. H. Johnston did good work in 
Nyasaland, where some ground had already been covered by 
the missionaries. In East Africa, south of the Zambesi, there 
were two chiefs, M'Tasa and Gungunyana, over whose terri- 
tory Portugal was claiming dominion, and Rhodes now sent 
a Dr. Schultz to approach Gungunyana. As regards M'Tasa, 
he felt it would be more opportune to approach hi when 
the further developments he planned in Mashonaland were 
carried out. It is also said that at one time Rhodes con- 
sidered sending Stanley to acquire other concessions north 
of the Zambesi. 

To this gathering came Jameson, reporting that the way 
to the north was now clear of all opposition on the part of 
Lobengula, and that preparations for the despatch of the 



CUTTING THE ROAD 121 

first band of pioneers could safely be taken in hand. So 
soon therefore as this band of explorers quiet men with 
records of fine deeds behind them broke up and each started 
his particular way, Rhodes in consultation with Jameson 
and Selous began seriously to consider the occupation of his 
new country. 

Jameson had suggested sending up small parties of wag- 
gons one at a time, and thus settling Mashonaland gradually 
without alarming the Matabele. But Ehodes, who disliked 
half measures, had other ideas, and was persuaded that small 
parties would run greater risks than one combined force. 
He consulted Colonel Carrington, then in command of the 
Bechuanaland Police, but that officer was only prepared to 
undertake the job at a very high figure, and Rhodes, who 
had no wish to use in a military display money that would 
be required for the future development of the new territory, 
abandoned the idea of entrusting Carrington with the ex- 
pedition. Whilst occupied with these problems, and when 
he was sitting one day in the Kimberley Club, he saw Frank 
Johnson, who had encountered varied experiences during 
many years in South Africa and with whom he had been 
brought into contact over Matabele affairs by F. C. Selous. 
Rhodes reminded Johnson of a talk when they had discussed 
the occupation of Mashonaland, and he submitted to him 
Carrington's extravagant demand. * Pooh ! ' 1 said Johnson, 
* give me 250 men and I will walk through the country/ 
c You will ? ' said Rhodes. ' Of course I will/ said Johnson. 
' And what will it cost ? ' asked Rhodes cautiously. John- 
son, seeing now that he was being taken more seriously than 
he expected, replied, * Give me till lunch time and I will 
work it out/ Thereupon Johnson, who had considerable 
experience of commissariat and transport, sat down with a 
large sheet of paper before him and worked out his ideas of 
equipment and supply. By noon his calculations were com- 
plete, and the detailed sheet of expenditure which he laid 
before Rhodes only totalled 87,000. Rhodes, with Ms love 
of swift decisions and absence of preparation, was delighted. 

1 Williams. 



122 ERODES: A LIFE 

* Right,' he said, for he realised that if Johnson had as it 
were a contract to deliver the pioneers at Mount Hampden, 
he would naturally try to get the job done as expeditiously 
as possible and to avoid all fighting with the Matabele a 
thing Rhodes dreaded. * You go, Johnson. You command 
the force.' And he kept on repeating, 'You go,' in the 
manner he had when excited. 

Johnson's contract, which was all in his own hand- 
writing, is an extraordinary document. By it Johnson 
agreed to recruit, arm, and equip a force of 200 men, to pay 
them at the same rate as the Chartered Company's Police, 
and to buy all necessary oxen, waggons, arms, stores, and 
ammunition needed for the expedition. 

But while these preparations were going forward Loben- 
gula had not remained in the tranquil frame of mind in 
which Jameson had left him. Doyle, whom Jameson had 
left at the king's kraal, had little influence with him, and 
after Jameson's departure Lobengula not unnaturally be- 
came again impatient to see Rhodes, to whom he had given 
so much, and uneasy as to what exactly his gift amounted to. 

In March, Selous, who had gained from Khama a promise 
of native labourers to cut the road through part of his coun- 
try, was at Palapye, where, in accordance with an under- 
taking given to Jameson by Lobengula, a hundred Matabele 
engaged for the same purpose were to have met him in charge 
of Colenbrander, who had taken Doyle's place as Rhodes's 
agent. The latter contingent, however, failed to arrive, and 
Selous, tired of waiting, went straight north to ask Loben- 
gula the cause of the delay. He found that the king had 
retracted his promises to Jameson ; was annoyed with 
Colenbrander, who, he said, saw too clearly into the minds 
of his councillors for his comfort, and, while absolutely re- 
fusing to allow a road to be made into his country, he told 
Selous to ' go back and take Rhodes by the hand and bring 
him here.' 

Selous, feeling matters were at a deadlock, returned to 
Kimberley with the news. Rhodes, determined now that 
the pioneers were already being recruited that nothing should 



CUTTING THE EOAD 123 



stop the forward movement, was most anxious to go him- 
self and talk with Lobengula ; but he was overruled in this 
by others in the venture, who reminded him that he was 
indispensable for sanctioning and arranging the advance 
from the base of operations. Again there was only one alter- 
native that Jameson should go once more as Rhodes 's 
emissary to Bulawayo. 

So Jameson, accompanied by Selous, started from Kim- 
berley on April llth. But at Tati he persuaded Selous to 
turn back, ostensibly on the ground that he would be more 
needed in his original position of guide to the expedition, 
but actually because he felt that by going to Bulawayo alone 
he would stand a better chance of influencing Lobengula. On 
this occasion he found the old chief in an unusually difficult 
mood, but the patience and the firmness of Jameson were 
at last rewarded, and in an interview described by Mr. 
Seymour Fort, he again obtained what was tantamount to 
a permit for the peaceful occupation of the country. * After 
two days/ he tells us, ' spent in vain at the king's kraal, 
Doctor Jameson arranged to leave the next morning at day- 
break. But before starting, as a final effort, he went to 
Lobengula to say good-bye. The door of the chief's hut 
was in two portions an upper and a lower and leaning 
over the lower half, he had his last and final interview. The 
old king was stark naked and somewhat agitated Ms mass 
of dark-coloured flesh moving restlessly up and down in the 
dim uncertain light of the hut. " Well, king," said Jameson, 
" as you will not confirm your promise and grant me the 
road, I shall bring my white impi and if necessary we shall 
fight." Lobengula replied, "I never refused the road to 
you and to your impi." " Very well," said Jameson, " then 
you acknowledge that you have promised to grant me the 
road, and unless you refuse to do it now your promise holds." 
The king remained diplomatically silent, and Jameson said, 
" Good-bye, chief. You have given me your promise about 
the road, and on the strength of that promise I shall bring 
my impi to Mashonaland." ' 

A few days later Jameson left Bulawayo to meet the 



124 EHODES: A LIFE 

pioneer column then on its way north, and he and Loben- 
gula whose meetings, although few in number, had such 
momentous results for the whole of Southern Africa never 
met again. 

It may be of some interest if I mention that in January 
1892 1 went from Salisbury with Captain Lendy of the B.S.A. 
Police to meet Lobengula at the Sebakwe River, distant some 
170 miles. Lendy was carrying messages from Jameson to 
Lobengula. His first words were, ' Has Jameson come, or 
Rhodes ? ' On being told that neither had been able to, he 
showed the greatest disappointment. He was even then a 
fine-looking figure, though bloated and evidently suffering 
from rheumatism. My chief recollection of the incident was 
his keen regret at not meeting Rhodes or Jameson, which it 
was clear he had been looking forward to. 

In March reports reached Rhodes, and through him were 
forwarded to the High Commissioner, that a party of 
Dutchmen were planning a trek to take up a concession 
in North-East Mashonaland. 

Sir Henry Loch sent a protest to Kruger, and following this 
up swiftly he and Rhodes went to confer with the Dutch 
President at Blignauts Pont. Kruger was not in a good 
temper, for the racial disturbances already taking place in 
Johannesburg worried him. But when Loch agreed to re- 
cognise the Transvaal interests in Swaziland, Kruger in his 
turn undertook not to interfere in the northern territory. 
Kruger had now been overruled by the more progressive of 
his burghers, and forced to consent to the Cape Railway 
system being continued into the Transvaal, but only on 
condition that the Nederlands Railway Company should 
control the Transvaal section of the line. 

All this time the recruiting and drilling of the small band 
of pioneers the first settlers of Mashonaland had pro- 
ceeded swiftly. The force was limited to two hundred, and 
men from every district in South Africa were included, so 
that they carried with them the sentiment of the whole 
colony. It was also arranged that representatives of all 
trades and callings should be included, and a few Civil 



GUTTING THE ROAD 125 

Service men were added who should form the nucleus of a 
future Administrative Service ; for the objects of the column 
were to settle and colonise the new country in other words 
to materialise Rhodes's dream of c Homes more homes.' 
Each man was promised a certain amount of ground and 
mineral rights on the completion of the occupation, until 
which time he should remain under the same military dis- 
cipline as the force of five hundred British South Africa 
Company's Police, who were to accompany them. The force 
was placed under the command of Lieut.-Colonel E. G. 
Pennefather of the 6th Dragoons, who had distinguished 
himself in both the Zulu and the Boer campaigns, while the 
pioneers were in charge of Frank Johnson. Selous was 
chosen for guide and intelligence officer to the whole column, 
and it must have been a wonderful sight to see this little 
body of picked men starting out cheerily on June 27th for 
their four hundred mile journey into almost unknown 
country. It has been said that no finer corps than these 
police and the Mashonaland Pioneers has ever been raised. 
Certain it is that only men of strong imagination would 
embark on such an adventure, and although inspired by 
many different aims, all felt the spell of that romance which 
was never absent from any of Bhodes's undertakings. 

By September llth the Mashonaland Pioneers reached 
their objective, having covered 400 miles in three months, 
the greater part in dense bush country through which the 
road had to be hacked. Jameson met them on the way 
and insisted on going on ahead with Selous. In spite of 
almost incredible risks, the little force proceeded steadily, 
and no attack was made on them. They only once came 
into touch with Lobengula's scouts, two of whom brought a 
pn^ling message from the king, saying, ' they were not to 
proceed unless they were strong enough.' * To which Colonel 
Pennefather replied that they were advancing under the 
orders of the Queen whom they could not disobey. 

The greatest difficulty which faced the column was the 
ascent from the low bush country to the high plateau of 

1 Fuller. 



126 RHODES : A LIFE 

Mashonaland, and here good fortune was with them, for as 
they approached the frowning cliff which divides the high 
from the low veld, Selous, scouting on ahead, found an easy 
gradual ascent for the waggons, which was thereafter called 
Providential Pass. The very simplicity by which this way 
was found through otherwise impenetrable hills forms a 
striking and dramatic incident in the history of the Empire. 

The flag was hoisted at a spot twelve miles from Mount 
Hampden by Lieut. Tyndale Biscoe on September 12th, and 
the fort there erected was called Fort Salisbury. A relay 
post was quickly organised southwards, and a letter ex- 
pressed to Rhodes, who said, ' When at last I found that 
they were through to Port Salisbury, I do not think there 
was a happier man in the country than myself. 9 1 

Port building went on throughout September. On the 
last day of that month the pioneers were disbanded, and 
thus were automatically transformed from a very efficient 
and mobile military force into the citizen community of the 
new country, which in addition to mining for gold would in 
time lay out farms and build townships in what was then a 
wilderness. 

1 Williams. 



CHAPTER XIII 

SUCCESS 
1890-1891 

WITHIN a year Rhodes had obtained the charter and had 
occupied in part at least the country to which it gave 
Tvi-m access. In addition to his ordinary business he was 
now to shoulder still another heavy responsibility. 

Sir Gordon Sprigg, a statesman of extreme mediocrity, 
had become Prime Minister of the Cape in November 1886. 
Devoted as he was to keeping himself in office, he failed to 
gauge accurately the views of the House regarding certain 
railway extensions and was defeated on a measure involving 
the expenditure of seven millions for railways, which the 
Cape Government decided it could not afford. He therefore 
resigned, and Sauer, who was then called upon by Sir Henry 
Loch, failed to form a ministry. Thereafter the High Com- 
missioner sent for Rhodes as the only man who could carry 
with him the confidence of both Dutch and British colonists, 
and entrusted him with the task. In this Rhodes was suc- 
cessful, for he had gained the support of the Dutch, though 
he had steadfastly refused to become the tool of the Bond 
Party ; and by July 17th he had made up his cabinet. 

Thus at the age of thirty-seven Rhodes became Prime 
Minister of the Cape Colony. 

Only eighteen years earlier he had been that dreamy, 
delicate lad, watching his natives at work in the diggings of 
De Beers a shy, odd youth, not over-popular, whom no 
one understood. Then he had dreamed indeed. But now his 
dreams had become tangible, to the lasting advantage of his 
countrymen. In addition to great wealth and fame, not 
only in South Africa but in England and on the Continent, 

127 



128 EHODES: A LIFE 

he now actually controlled the destiny of the Cape Colony 
and of practically the whole of South Africa. It was freely 
said at this time that Rhodes was likely to leave a greater 
mark on the world than any previous Empire-builder, and 
his success in this direction was causing a good deal of 
jealousy throughout Europe. 

His ministry contained three supporters of the Bond 
himself, Faure, and Sivewright the last-named an astute 
Scotsman who had risen from a small job in the Cape tele- 
graph service to a leading position as a contractor on the new 
railway, in which capacity he had won Rhodes's confidence 
and also Innes, Sauer, and Merriman, the friend of early 
Kimberley days and now a brilliant speaker with a very 
caustic wit. 

Although Rhodes was never accounted a great orator, the 
members were proud of their Prime Minister for his financial 
capacity, the wideness of his vision, and above all his ambi- 
tions for the Cape Colony. He always had something to say 
well worth listening to, and for this reason his speeches were 
heard in complete silence, although he talked in a conver- 
sational strain and was apt to branch off the subject 
in hand in a totally unexpected manner. ' On one occa- 
sion, for example, Sprigg had made a strong case against 
IIITTI for not having carried out his engagement to extend 
the line from Vryburg to Maf eking ; in his reply he 
almost ignored the charge and devoted himself to a detailed 
vindication of his northern policy since 1880, and of his recent 
occupation of Mashonaland, concluding with the amusing 
piece of intelligence that ' the honourable gentleman has put 
the motion on a very suitable day. It happens to be my 
birthday.' * 

At this period Rhodes, who was now admitted the ablest 
man of South African affairs, was also one of the hardest 
workers it would be possible to find, and it was only his 
habit of sleeping soundly at night, no matter how many 
difficulties harassed him during the day, that enabled him to 
withstand the tremendous strain. 

1 Williams. 



SUCCESS 129 



Finding that he needed more solitude than club life 
afforded, he looked around for a home on the outskirts of 
Cape Town. In Groote Schuur (' Great Barn ') and its sur- 
rounding acres, which he purchased from Mrs. John van der 
Byl, he found a place well suited to his taste and to his love 
of the beautiful in nature, although he did not occupy the 
house until the end of this year. 

It is certain that he only took the position of Premier 
because it seemed to him that in it he might work to better 
advantage towards bringing about a United South Africa, 
and not because of any personal ambition. 

Hia dreams went far deeper than mere commercial and 
political relationships. He ever thought of the young 
generation, and decided that their education should fit them 
for the birthright in the wide new country he had now 
secured for them, and which he hoped would give them in 
addition to prosperity a wider outlook than is afforded by 
life in a small settlement. Always he wished that the 
colonists in South Africa should have space for expansion, 
* for,' said Rhodes, c people should move about so as to see 
what is going on. Localism is a curse to this and every 
country.' 

Already he was occupied with the plans for a Teachers' 
University at Cape Town, where the young men of each and 
all the South African States might work together in a com- 
mon fellowship, which should inevitably establish a better 
understanding between the two races. But finding the 
moment unpropitious, frl" scheme was postponed until a 
more suitable time, and, owing to the trend of future events, 
at a later date abandoned, but the University is now being 
erected on the land on Table Mountain which he bequeathed 
for the purpose. 

Rhodes made his first speech as Premier at Eimberley in 
September, and in part explained to his constituents his 
acceptance of an office to which it was felt by many he could 
not give sufficient time or attention, and in regard to which 
he had been severely criticised. 

' I thought/ he said in the course of his speech, ' of the 



130 RHODES : A LIFE 

tasks I had in De Beers and the Chartered Company, and I 
decided that one position could be worked with the other 
and each to the benefit of all.' And in referring to his dream 
of union he continued : ' When I speak of South African 
union, I mean that we may attain to perfect free trade as 
to our own commodities and a general customs union 
stretching from Delagoa Bay to Walfish Bay, and if our 
statesmen should attain that I say they will have done a 
good work . . . and I am glad that Cape Colony will also 
share in the development of the country to the north. I 
feel sure that within my lifetime the limits of Cape Colony 
will stretch as far as the Zambesi. 9 

In this speech we feel again that absolute soreness of his 
own power to accomplish what he had set out to do, which 
was so strongly foreshadowed when at the age of twenty he 
drew up his amazing first Will. 

Despite the pressure of parliamentary business, Ehodes's 
thoughts were much occupied at this time with his pioneers 
in the new territory. On their arrival at Fort Salisbury, all 
had gone well for the first settlers ; and many would-be 
prospectors and traders, who had been waiting at Macloutsi 
and Tuli for news of the success of the first column, now 
followed them up, while more elaborate expeditions were 
fitted out in England and on the Continent. Transport 
riders got to work taking up waggon loads of stores, for 
which they asked and obtained a payment of 70 a ton, 
and all over South Africa there spread an immense and 
optimistic belief in * Bhodes's new country.' 

But one of the heaviest rainy seasons ever remembered in 
South and East Africa followed the occupation of Mashona- 
land, and when the rains began almost all the rivers, which 
the pioneer column had crossed so easily, became impassable. 
No further supplies could come through ; malaria, the cause 
of which was not then understood, exacted its toll of victims 
at that season ; and the settlers were up against many very 
real problems and hardships. For the most part they stood 
the test well, though some made loud complaints, and 
Colquhoun, the first administrator, was in a trying position. 



SUCCESS 131 



Meanwhile Jameson, who with Johnson had left the 
pioneers a few miles short of Salisbury, reached Beira, after 
desperate adventures, including injury by a fall from his 
horse and the loss of all camp equipment from fire. By the 
rarest chance they came through safely, and after descending 
the Pungwe River in aBerthon boat, were almost incredibly ! 
picked up at the mouth by a tug Jameson had arranged 
should meet him. They had gone down that way in the 
hope of finding a direct route to the east coast, which was 
clearly necessary if communication with Mashonaland was 
to be kept open through the wet season. 

In October Rhodes, with D. C. de Waal and M. Venter- 
two Dutch members of the House of Assembly accompanied 
the High Commissioner on a tour through Bechuanaland, 
where they attended the opening of the new railway, which 
had now reached Vryburg, at which place Rhodes in a speech 
made humorous reference to the occasion of his former visit 
there when Sir Charles Warren had referred to h as ' a 
danger to the community.' 

At Macloutsi the Governor and the Premier held a review 
of troops, and from here Sir Henry Loch was returning to 
Cape Town. Rhodes only now announced his intention of 
extending his own journey northwards towards Mashonaland, 
though it seemed evident this idea must have been in his 
mind the whole time. The High Commissioner disliked the 
plan intensely and used every possible argument to dissuade 
Rhodes, as the Matabele were then known to be in a state 
of some discontent. About this time Lobengula had granted 
Herr Lippert (a German financier whom Renny Tailyour had 
long represented at Bulawayo) a concession for a hundred 
years to deal with all land in his territories. The old chief 
was not happy over this and was most unwilling to agree, 
but he was pressed and cajoled into agreement by Ldppert's 
agents, who kept him liberally supplied with champagne, 
to which he had taken a great liking. Had Rhodes or 
Jameson been able to visit him at any time between the 
middle of 1890 and 1891, this concession would never have 
been given over their heads. However, a little later Rhodes, 



132 RHODES: A LIFE 

on behalf of the Chartered Company, purchased the con- 
cession from Lippert, though at considerable cost, and so 
established its title firmly once and for all. 

Strong arguments were used to dissuade hi from entering 
Mashonaland at this time. 'Remember,' Sir Henry re- 
minded him, ' you are not Mr. Rhodes alone, but also the 
Prime Minister of the Cape Colony/ Several others endorsed 
the Governor's words ; but Rhodes replied that his object 
had not been to see Bechuanaland, but to reach Mashonaland 
that new territory upon the border of which he was actu- 
ally standing. It was his own country, he reiterated. So 
Rhodes, with de Waal and Venter, started north from 
Macloutsi, and after meeting and talking to Colonel Penne- 
father, who was going down to Kimberley, they continued 
their journey to the Tuli River. Here they met some Boer 
waggons also returning from Mashonaland, and upon asking 
the owners what prospect there was of reaching Fort Salis- 
bury at that season, they were told that such a journey was 
out of the question ; that the rivers were already rising and 
would soon be far too deep for any waggons to go through ; 
while even if they could be crossed at once, the return journey 
would be quite impossible. One hunter, they told Rhodes, 
had had to wait between two rivers from December until May. 

The Premier, now realising that the journey he had so 
longed to make was practically impossible at that season for 
anyone under the conditions then existing at any rate for 
anyone in public life with responsibilities and decisions that 
could not be delayed very reluctantly turned south and 
gave up the hope of seeing Mashonaland until the next year. 
He then travelled down to Pretoria, where President Kruger 
entertained him. 

' We must work together,' began Rhodes, after coffee- 
drinking and skirmishing around for a spot where the smoke 
of Kruger's pipe did not throw its fumes over him, for tobacco 
he never enjoyed. * I know the Republic wants a seaport. 
You must have Delagoa Bay.' But to this Kruger ob- 
jected on the grounds that that port belonged to Portugal ; 
that the Portuguese would not sell ; and that in any case 



SUCCESS 133 



stolen goods were accursed. All excellent reasons, but scarcely 
consistent with his usual behaviour towards the territories 
of rival nations. We know that in 1884 Rhodes himself had 
already begun to think of buying Delagoa Bay. Now he had 
apparently wished to discover if the same idea had occurred 
to his rival ; but with little success. However, for the 
next few years his agents were constantly at Lourenco 
Marques. But in spite of the magnetic personality which 
gave to Rhodes so strong an influence over most of those 
with whom he came in contact, and by means of which he 
obtained an intellectual hold on the hard metal souls of the 
mining magnates, whose wealth he forced into the service 
of his schemes, Kruger was the one man whom he could 
never sway. Said Kruger to General Joubert, who rather 
favoured Rhodes : c This young man I like not ; he goes too 
fast for me. He has robbed me of the north. I cannot 
understand how he manages it, but he never sleeps and he 
will not smoke.' x 

On his return to Kimberley, Rhodes found Jameson was 
already there recovered from the hardships of his journey 
down the Pungwe and with mended ribs, and the two settled 
down at once to a discussion of the proposed very necessary 
road from Salisbury to Beira and the difficulties caused 
by its having to be made through existing Portuguese 
dominions. Obviously, until railway communication could be 
carried north from the terminus of the Cape railways, and 
that seemed far off, the new country would remain isolated 
and cut off from the world for several months in the year ; 
and without lines of communication, Rhodes well knew no 
country could develop. It was therefore arranged that 
Jameson should return at once to Mashonaland as local repre- 
sentative of the British South Africa Company, with the 
approval of the Home Board, and, as he himself explained 
to his brother, c with absolute control over everybody.' 2 
By this time the doctor had found that, in spite of hard- 
ships, helping to make maps was more attractive even than 

1 General Joubert to Duncan Clark of Zoutspansberg in 1891. 

2 Colvin. 



134 RHODES : A LIFE 

a good practice. 'In adapting himself to all the circum- 
stances of this new environment/ says Mr. Seymour Fort, 
* Dr. Jameson displayed not only tact and foresight, but in 
a marked degree the quality of common sense. Without 
military or legal training of any kind, he shrank from no 
responsibility, and his word was law throughout the length 
and breadth of the land. Intolerant of methods that savoured 
of red-tapism and circumlocution, he swept aside all forms 
of unnecessary professional etiquette, and relied entirely 
upon his own shrewdness.' He was indeed a fitting lieutenant 
for the ' Maker of History.' 

For long Dr. Jameson's name has been so closely asso- 
ciated in the -minds of the British public with the failure of 
the amateur attempt to upset Paul Kruger's Government, 
which goes by the name of the Raid, that only time will 
teach them to appreciate the great services which he rendered 
to Rhodes and to the expansion of South Africa. 

In a letter written at this time, Jameson speaks of ' the 
charter's possessions which I shall do my best to increase 
all the so-called " Zambesia " or, as it will one day be called, 
"Rhodesia" ' showing that even at this early date the idea 
of naming the northern territory after its founder had already 
been suggested. In 1891 l the leading colonial papers used 
this name for the territories under the control of the Char- 
tered Company, though it did not receive Imperial sanction 
until 1898, when the Colonial Office wrote to the High 
Commissioner that it was resolved henceforth to use this 
designation for all territories under the administration of 
the British South Africa Company. c Well, you know/ said 
Tlhodes, who was intensely pleased on hearing this, * to have 
a bit of country named after one is one of the things a man 
might be proud of.' 

To Miss Flora Shaw (now Lady Lugard), special corre- 
spondent in South Africa for the Times for some years, he 
said on one occasion: 2 * I walked between earth and sky, and 
when I looked down I said This earth shall be English ; and 
when I looked up I said The English should rule this earth/ , 
1 Marshall Hole. I Colvin. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE WEB OP EMPIEE 
1891 

Off the band of trusted men whom Rhodes had sent out 
early in 1890 to extend the boundaries of Empire, all had 
encountered severe difficulties, and these tried lieutenants 
met with varied success. 

As Rhodes and Jameson had foreseen, troubles were 
already brewing with the Portuguese, who very naturally 
viewed the occupation of Mashonaland with jealousy and 
apprehension. On his arrival at Tuli, Jameson met a wag- 
gon in which were two Portuguese officers going down to 
Kimberley as prisoners of the Chartered Company, with 
whose officials they had come into collision. 

On Christmas Day Jameson reached Salisbury, and having, 
as he describes it, * settled everything amicably with Col- 
quhoun/ he set out four days later, taking Doyle and Moodie 
with him, towards Gazaland, where Chief Gungnnyana was 
in difficulties with the Portuguese. 

At this time Jameson's letters gave glowing accounts of 
the trade that would inevitably follow the opening up of the 
east coast route, river steamers for which had been already 
ordered. He viewed the Portuguese difficulty with immense 
optimism, and trusted to gaining a concession from the 
much worried Gungunyana before the Portuguese were able 
to establish definitely their title to that part of the east 
coast. 

On this occasion the travellers found food even more 
scarce than on their previous journey, while malaria severely 



136 RHODES : A LIFE 

tried them all. They reached Gungunyana's kraal ragged 
and nearly famished, but were courteously received. Here 
they found Schultz, who had gone up earlier in the year, but 
who, owing to the importunities of other concession hunters 
and trouble with the Portuguese, had not been able to ap- 
proach the Chief until September. Gungunyana's power had 
been much weakened by the influence of various disrepu- 
table Portuguese officials, who incited the minor tribes over 
which he ruled to resist his authority. But when Schultz 
had found an opportunity of explaining that an agreement 
with the company would mean his gaining the protection 
of the British Government an explanation aided by the 
very timely arrival of Jameson Gungunyana readily agreed 
to grant them a concession as soon as he received certain 
rifles and ammunition (for which Schultz had already written 
to Dr. Rutherf oord Harris) and the sum of 500 a year, which 
Schultz had promised him. The difficulty standing in the 
way of the delivery of arms would have daunted anyone less 
optimistic than Jameson and Schultz, who knew well that, 
although Gungunyana airily told them the east coast was 
all his country, the Portuguese would strenuously resist any 
importation of arms through their territory. 

This journey across impossible country and the subjuga- 
tion of Gungunyana was the most notable of all Jameson's 
achievements, for he had arrived at the chief's kraal with 
empty hands and nothing in the way of prestige, trusting 
only to his personality to carry him through. 

The difficulties of the journey were now practically at an 
end, though the arms were still to be delivered. Carrying 
the precious concession, Jameson reached the mouth of the 
Limpopo, where he was met by the tug The Countess of 
Ccurnarvon despatched by Dr. Rutherfoord Harris from 
Port Elizabeth with rifles and ammunition. 

Unf ortunately for Jameson, however, a Portuguese gun- 
boat was already anchored beside her. Realising that his 
concession which could not be ratified until the arms were 
actually delivered was in danger, Jameson acted as usual 
with swift decision and, handing the document to one of 



THE WEB OF EMPIRE 137 

his men, told him to make his way across country and meet 
Mm at Delagoa Bay. 

The Portuguese took possession of the arms and a,TnTnrmi- 
tion, and Jameson and his party were then searched with 
most disappointing results for their captors ! and treated 
as prisoners until they were finally released upon landing at 
Delagoa Bay, where Jameson, with surprising good fortune, 
found his man waiting for him, and still the possessor of 
the precious concession. At a later date the arms were 
released on a payment of 2000 to the Portuguese Govern- 
ment, and were despatched without delay to Gungunyana's 
kraal. But despite this gallant work done by Rhodes's 
lieutenants to extend the Empire over Gazaland, the Prime 
Minister in the general settling up of the Anglo-Portuguese 
question refused to recognise this concession, and the country 
was admitted to lie within the Portuguese sphere. 

Meanwhile, after a terribly difficult journey and much de- 
lay through flooded rivers, Lochner had reached Barotseland 
and found that Lewanika was perfectly ready to accept a 
British Protectorate, on the understanding that he would 
actually be under the direct protection of the Queen. Of 
this Lochner assured him, and thus the territory of Barot- 
seland was, through him, acquired by Rhodes for the Empire. 

H. H. Johnston had done much for Rhodes's cause in 
Nyasaland. By his firmness and decision he thwarted the 
pretensions of the Portuguese on the Shire River, and in 
conjunction with Mr. Buchanan, then Consul for British 
Nyasaland, he proclaimed a British Protectorate over 
Makololo and Shire districts, of which action he lost no time 
in informing the Portuguese authorities, thus anticipating 
their claims to these tracts of country. 

This done, Johnston travelled north; but immediately 
he had gone the Portuguese, taking advantage of his absence, 
invaded those territories, slaughtered some of the natives 
who had been placed under British protection, and even 
called on the English settlers at Blantyre and Zomba to 
accept Portuguese rule. This latter action had the efiect 
of rousing the Imperial Authorities, and Lord Salisbury 



138 RHODES: A LIFE 

thereupon sent an ultimatum to Lisbon, as a result of which 
the Portuguese ordered the evacuation of the Shire territory. 

When Johnston went north he met Sharpe, who as a 
commissioner for the Charter was also carrying out Rhodes's 
plans by helping the Lakes Company in their struggle with 
Arab slave-traders, and had in addition gained concessions 
from many smaller tribes. 

Sharpe then returned to Blantyre, where he found Joseph 
Thomson, and it was arranged that they should now 
approach the M'siri, or Katanga country, by separate routes 
Sharpe from the north of Lake Nyasa and Thomson by 
way of Lake Bangueolo. 

Although Sharpe made many satisfactory treaties over all 
the districts between the three lakes, Nyasa, Tanganyika, 
and H'wenu, he was not allowed to travel through the 
Katanga country ; was in fact deprived of food and carriers, 
and forced to return by the way he had come. 

Thomson fared no better. Smallpox broke out among 
his natives ; the remainder mutinied, and he also was 
compelled to return. 

The failure of these two attempts to gain Katanga for 
Britain unfortunately only served to increase Belgium's 
interest in that country. Three important expeditions were 
fitted out, and one under a Lieut. Stairs an officer of the 
British Army though a Nova Scotian by birth took pos- 
session of Katanga in the name of the Congo Free State, 
although not without bloodshed. 

Thus although two threads were lost in Rhodes's web of 
Empire, his expansion policy had succeeded brilliantly in 
Barotseland, the Shire Highlands and the country of the 
Great Lakes. British territory now extended northwards to 
Tanganyika ; Rhodes had secured for England much of what 
had hitherto been regarded as the * far interior/ and in addi- 
tion had laid the foundation of actual colonisation in 
Mashonaland. Only two of his Imperial dreams had not 
been realised the Katanga territory had been lost to 
Britain, and Portugal had been allowed to retain her hold 
on much of the east coast. 



THE WEB or EMPIRE 139 

The Boers were still casting greedy eyes towards this new 
country Rhodes had thrown open for white settlement. In 
spite of the agreement Sir Henry Loch and Kruger had made 
at Blignauts Pont, a number of Dutch mustered early in 
1891 on the south bank of the Limpopo. Four Transvaal 
Boers, Adendorff, Dupreez, Myer, and Brummer, who had 
already tried to get money from Rhodes in return for a 
so-called concession, issued a proclamation whereby a certain 
chief, Chibi, was supposed to invite members of the Dutch 
Republic to come and reside in his country and defend him 
from the Matabele raiders. On the strength of this docu- 
ment, Adendorff begged the Boers of the Transvaal and Free 
State to join in a combined trek to occupy Mashonaland ; 
and as this expedition was to consist of five thousand armed 
Dutchmen, it is obvious that they meant to try conclusions 
with the British settlers, or alternatively attempt to plant 
a Dutch Republic in Mashonaland. 

Rhodes declared that, while the Chartered Company 
would welcome farmers from all other South African States 
who entered the new territory as loyal citizens, it would 
never tolerate anyone wishing to upset the existing form 
of government. 

In spite of this, however, large numbers of Boers con- 
tinued their preparations ; and it was evident that Kruger 
had little hold over these back-veld farmers, though he con- 
tinued to protest that they had no intention of making a 
forcible entry into the country. Several troops of Bechuana- 
land Police, under Colonel Carrington, were therefore massed 
along the opposite bank of the river. 

On June 24th the Boers made a determined attempt to 
cross, and Jameson, who had gone up ostensibly to inspect 
the police but really on a larger mission, found one hundred 
and twelve mounted and well-armed Boers had actually 
crossed the ford. Their leader Ferreira was arrested, and 
his companions retired to their own side of the river, where 
Jameson followed them to discuss the position in a friendly 
way, at the same time sternly assuring them that no one 
would be allowed entry into Mashonaland who did not agree 



140 RHODES : A LIFE 

to accept the company's laws. This the greater number 
promised to do, and on those terms were allowed a peaceful 
entry. The supposed Adendorff concession was heard of no 
more, and the chief who was said to have granted it, when 
later interviewed by Rhodes, denied any knowledge of that 
Dutchman. 

Early in 1S91 Rhodes again visited England, this time at 
the suggestion of the Secretary of State in regard to the 
affairs of the charter and also the threatened upset in inter- 
national relations by the encroachment of the Dutch and the 
officious interference of the Portuguese, who now threatened 
to close the route to Beira. These matters were discussed 
at length with Lord Salisbury, and Rhodes was entertained 
to dinner at Windsor Castle by the Queen. Telling me of 
this in 1914, when on a visit to Rhodesia, Princess Christian, 
the Queen's daughter, said : ' The Queen had been warned that 
Mr. Rhodes was a woman-hater and she was rather nervous 
about him, but in the early part of dinner she turned to him 
and said, " And what are you engaged in at present, Mr. 
Rhodes ? " " I'm doing my best to enlarge your Majesty's 
dominions," replied Rhodes. The Queen was delighted with 
this answer and said to me after dinner, " I can't believe 
he is a woman-hater I think he is a charming man and so 
easy to get on with." ' The Princess went on : c Edward (then 
Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.) liked him too, 
and thought him a wonderful character and so lucid in his 
explanations. I often wish I had met Trim myself.' As for 
Rhodes, who had always been a firm admirer of the Queen 
and ter ideas on colonial expansion, he was much surprised 
at her knowledge of South African politics and at her quick 
grasp of his explanation in regard to the development of 
Mashonaland. Having been doubtless advised to speak to 
him on the diamond mines, she questioned him all about the 
mining and recovery of the precious stones and seemed very 
keenly interested. ' She was quick of understanding,' he 
said, * and intellectually a very clever woman with a pleasant, 
dignified manner.' 

During this visit to England, Rhodes had some corre- 



THE WEB OP EMPIRE 141 

spondence with Mr. Schnadiorst, at that time the chief 
agent of the Liberal Party, who had visited South Africa in 
the previous year, 1890. It has been stated, and probably 
accurately, that Mr. Schnadhorst came out specially to see 
if he could secure a contribution from Rhodes to the Liberal 
funds, which were then in a very bad plight, and knowing 
that Rhodes was strongly imbued with Liberal ideas save 
as regards their colonial policy he had great hopes of 
success. Rhodes was in Kimberley, and thither Schnadhorst 
followed him ; and as he represented himself to be in close 
touch with the leaders of the Liberal Party, who were ex- 
pecting soon to be in power, Rhodes gladly discussed many 
important matters with him, and, accepting Schnadhorst at 
his own valuation, he indicated he might see his way at a 
later date to subscribe to his party's funds. Schnadhorst 
returned to England in happy vein, and once again in his 
offices there is reason to believe he misled his own executive 
over the matter. Soon after Rhodes's arrival in London, he 
called on him and bluntly asked for a contribution. Rhodes 
was, however, not quite happy about the colonial policy of 
the Liberal Government, and the retention of Great Britain's 
guardianship over Egypt through which his trans-continental 
telegraph line would pass, and he suggested to Schnadhorst 
that before he gave the subscription of 5000 he was J-.Tn'nTri-ng 
of making, he should find out Mr. Gladstone's views on the 
subject, which Schnadhorst agreed to do. At a later inter- 
view he informed Rhodes that Gladstone had made it cleaz 
that he had no intention of abandoning Egypt, but it is 
quite obvious from the correspondence since published, that 
Gladstone had never heard of Rhodes's views. Satisfied 
with what Schnadhorst told him, Rhodes sent him a cheque 
for 5000. Early in 1892 Rhodes was amazed beyond 
measure to read a cable in the press in which Gladstone 
urged the evacuation of Egypt, and he at once wrote to 
Schnadhorst, asking for an explanation and that his sub- 
scription should be handed over to a charity. This led 
to a short correspondence in which Schnadhorst showed up 
far from well, and but for Rhodes's desire not to hurt 



142 RHODES : A LIFE 

Schnadhorst's memory by publishing certain letters, he would 
have averted a good deal of strongly adverse criticism of 
himself. Fortunately, he had told the late W. T. Stead 
what he was doing, and showed him his principal letter to 
Schnadhorst before it was sent. A number of years after- 
wards the full correspondence was published. 

Rhodes was now regarded with intense interest in England, 
but he never allowed London society to lionise him. In- 
stead, he continued his simple hard-working way of life, 
staying at the Burlington Hotel in Cork Street, making few 
friends, and keeping as far removed as possible from social 
gatherings. Many women were anxious to be on friendly 
terms with this man, who possessed the power of making 
his dreams come true. But Rhodes admitted very few to a 
close acquaintance, and those few were, for the most part, 
the wives of men with whom he worked. Very early in his 
political life Rhodes said, * When I decided to take up poli- 
tics I found I would have to cut all close friendships with 
women, realising there was not time for both.* And again, 
when speaking of marriage, he said, c I know everybody asks 
why I do not marry. I cannot get married. I have too 
much work on my hands. I should always be away from 
home and should not be able to do my duty as a husband to 
his wife. A married man should be at home to give the 
attention and advice which a wife expects from her husband.' 

With Rhodes, work work for the community came be- 
fore everything else. c If you are to succeed in any matter/ 
said he, * you must concentrate your mind on it and keep it 
there till you have got the mastery.' And again, e Work is 
not sufficient in itself we must inspire others to work.' He 
deplored the fact that ' the mass of mankind cares more for 
pleasure than for work or lofty ambitions,' since c if you 
are in real earnest over your job you will work with your 
coat off.' 

Rhodes hurried back to Kimberley in March to be present 
at the Bond Conference, and there in a speech he said : 
*....! have just returned from England after having 
received the highest consideration from the politicians of 



THE WEB OF EMPIRE 143 

England, after Her Majesty herself had expressed a desire 
that I should meet her and should have the honour of dining 
with her. I think it would in the past have been considered 
an extraordinary anomaly that one who possessed the com- 
plete confidence of Her Majesty herself should have been 
able to show that at the same time he felt most completely 
and entirely that the object and aspirations of the Africander 
Bond were in complete touch and concert with a fervent 
loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen. ... I come here because 
I wish to show that there is nothing antagonistic between 
the aspirations of the people of this country and of their 
kindred in the mother-country, provided always that the old 
country recognises that the whole idea of the colonies and 
of the colonial people is that the principle of self-government 
must be observed and acted upon to the full. ... It is not 
for us to interfere with the independence of the neighbouring 
states ; it is for us to obtain Customs relations, railway com- 
munications, and free trade in products with them. . . . It 
took me twenty years to amalgamate the diamond mines. 
That amalgamation was done in detail, step by step, and 
so your union must be done in detail; educating your 
children. . . . that this is your policy. ... In connection 
with this question I may meet with opposition ; but if I 
do I shall not abandon it.' 

At this time Rhodes was attacked from many sides. 
English journalists declared that the Prime Minister favoured 
the Bond, while the Dutch, and in especial Mr. Boreken- 
hagen, editor of the Free State Express, after vainly attempt- 
ing to convert Rhodes to republicanism and going so far 
even as to suggest he would be selected as the first President, 
declared that Rhodes was too English. ' And I will tell you 
why/ said Rhodes. ' He said we must of course be inde- 
pendent of the rest of the world. I said, No ; you take me 
either for a rogue or a fool. I would be a rogue to forfeit all 
my history and my traditions, and I would be a fool because 
I would be hated by my own countrymen and mistrusted 
by yours/ l On another occasion, also in 1891, Rhodes said, 



144 RHODES : A LIFE 

in speaking of federation, ' It will not be easy to complete 
union under the same flag. I see difficulties. I know myself 
that I am not prepared to forfeit at any time my own flag. 
If I forfeit my flag, what have I left ? If you take away my 
flag, you take away everything . . . and holding these views 
I can well understand the sentimental feeling of others for 
the flag they have been born under.' 

While discussing in London the relations between the 
Portuguese and his settlers, Rhodes came to the conclusion 
that so soon as the former should take a more decisive step 
in their policy of aggression, the British Government would 
unquestionably step in. Anxious to secure the trade route 
to Beira, he decided that this step might possibly be expe- 
dited, and for this reason now arranged that Sir John 
Willoughby should make an attempt to carry stores up the 
Pungwe. When Rhodes first explained his plan, it was 
objected that poor Willoughby might lose his life in the 
venture. * Not a bit/ 1 Rhodes replied gaily, e they will only 
hit him in the leg.' And he went on repeating, c No, my 
dear fellow, they will only hit him in the leg.' 

So Sir John Willoughby started from Durban in April on 
board the s.s. Norseman, accompanied by two other small 
vessels and three lighters, in charge of a large quantity of 
goods and also a mail bag for the traders in Mashonaland. 
They reached Beira safely, but as they anchored three 
Portuguese gunboats ranged alongside, Customs money was 
refused, and the Portuguese Governor-General would not give 
Sir John Willoughby permission to enter the country. 

However, Willoughby wanted something more definite 
than a mere refusal, and the next morning weighed 
anchor and proceeded up the river, followed by the gun- 
boats, one of which trained her guns and fired a blank shot 
at the Norseman. This, Sir John felt, was sufficient evi- 
dence of hostility, and, not waiting to be ' shot in the leg/ 
he dropped his anchor. The matter was now an affair 
between the two governments. The Imperial Authorities 
forwarded a dignified remonstrance to Lisbon ; after which 

1 Colvin. 



THE WEB OF EMPIRE 145 

the Portuguese put no more difficulties in the way of the 
entry of either passengers or goods through Beira to 
Mashonaland. Rhodes had again triumphed by his policy 
of ever * seeking the hole in the fence.* 

In August, Alfred Beit the first of the company's direc- 
tors to visit Mashonaland travelled up via Tuli ; and as 
soon as Parliament was prorogued, Rhodes with Johnson 
and de Waal, and accompanied by his faithful servant Tony, 
made a second attempt to reach that country. 

They went round the coast by sea to Beira, and then pro- 
ceeded overland on foot to Umtali, where Rhodes was 
greeted with great delight by the settlers. Here they were 
met by Jameson, who had succeeded Colquhoun as Adminis- 
trator and who was then busy in Salisbury c being disagree- 
able and clearing out the rubbish,' * as he described the much 
needed retrenchments he made in the Chartered Company's 
regime. 

This meeting between Rhodes and Jameson can easily be 
imagined. The practical dreamer and his lieutenant met at 
last in the new country which they had by dreams and 
work attained. 

At Umtali, Rhodes talked with his settlers, appreciating to 
the full their difficulties in the way of transport and other 
problems ; doing all he could to improve those conditions, 
and declaring himself immensely surprised at the progress 
already made, although on his weary journey up through the 
swamps of the Pungwe he had gathered a very grave idea of 
the absolute necessity for establishing some definite means 
of communication with the outside world, which should not 
be liable to interruption by the floods of the rainy season, 
or the depredations of the deadly tsetse fly. Rhodes and 
Jameson, with de Waal and Johnson, now started by mule 
cart for Salisbury, which was reached by design late one 
evening, for Rhodes wished to avoid anything like a public 
or official welcome. Already Salisbury showed the begin- 
nings of a busy little town spreading for a mile and a half 
around the foot of the kopje, with several shops and stores 

1 0olvin. 

M.C.B. X 



146 RHODES: A LIFE 

in process of construction, although the majority of the 
European population now numbering four hundred still 
dwelt in huts. For this community the Chartered Company 
had by this time sent, seventeen hundred miles overland, 
plenty of every kind of necessary food, together with mining 
and farming implements, although the supply of liquor was 
possibly of intention short. 

There were many questions of administration and retrench- 
ment to be discussed, and little time in which to do it 
before Rhodes must return to his parliamentary duties at 
the Cape. 

In spite, however, of the need for hurry, he travelled right 
through Mashonaland, inspecting all the mining and farming 
operations which had been begun. He found to his delight 
that the rough homesteads of which he had dreamed were 
springing up here and there in the fertile valleys of Mashona- 
land, while at Hartley Hill and elsewhere gold was being 
found in very promising quantities. They travelled by 
Charter, where they met Selous, who was full of enthusiasm 
as to the future of Mashonaland, and on by a good upland 
road of his construction towards Victoria, where they were 
once more within reach of the telegraph and able to receive 
news from Cape Colony. 

Rhodes was immensely pleased with what he saw. The 
number of mines, which had as yet been merely scratched, 
seemed a clear proof of the payable mineral wealth existing 
in the country, which at that time was costing the Chartered 
Company so much. 

When at last he was driven, by the exigencies of his par- 
liamentary business, to turn south, the party rode the first 
stage of the journey and later continued by waggon with 
constant relays of fresh oxen. 

At Palapye they saw and talked to Khama, and found the 
old chief and his son were tilling their land with four ploughs 
an indication of the progressive conditions now prevailing 
there. At Notwani they exchanged waggons for post-cart 
and drove day and night towards the Cape. 

Rhodes reached Kimberley on November 24th, 1891. In 



THE WEB OF EMPIRE 147 

seven days and six nights he had travelled a distance of 625 
miles a record for a South African journey. * No one had 
ever before completed that distance in so short a time with 
only draught 3.*^ and de Waal declared that no one 
else would ever want to ! 

In less than three months they had covered four thousand 
miles, and Rhodes was intensely happy in the result of his 
achievement, for although he had left Jameson to deal single- 
handed with the hazards and problems of Mashonaland, he 
knew that he carried news to the supporters of the company 
which would justify those developments already made and 
inspire fresh efforts for still wider colonial expansion. 

iDeWaal. 



CHAPTER XV 

TROUBLES AND VICTORIES 
1892-1894 

IN 1891 Rhodes created a precedent among colonial premiers. 
He tried to establish direct relations with other self-governing 
colonies, which he hoped might unite with him in forging 
still closer links with the mother-country. With this A* 
in view he wrote private letters to Sir Henry Parkes, Prime 
Minister of New South Wales, and to Sir John MacDonald, 
Premier of Canada, suggesting an agreement in regard to 
customs and tariffs, for it was part of Rhodes's creed that 
fiscal questions were bound in the end to rule the world. 

Although MacDonald died before receiving this letter, a 
year later the High Commissioner forwarded to Rhodes a 
copy of the Canadian resolution in favour of Colonial Pre- 
ference, suggesting at the same time that a like measure 
should be passed at the Cape. 

In 1894, when the Canadian Government issued invitations 
for the Inter-Colonial Conference, Rhodes accepted on behalf 
of the Cape ; and Sir Henry de Villiers and Jan Hofmeyr 
represented the Cape Colony at Ottawa, ' primed with in- 
structions to show a friendly feeling towards the other 
colonies, to discuss Imperial cable routes, to obtain a 
measure of inter-colonial trade, and to consider a payment 
by the colonies of subsidies to the Imperial Navy/ l This was 
a direct result of Rhodes's letter of 1891, the repercussions 
of which are being felt more strongly than ever to-day. 

When Rhodes visited England in March 1892 in connec- 
tion with the financial affairs of the Chartered Company, he 

1 Williams. 
148 



TROUBLES AND VICTORIES 149 

was shocked to find that Harcourt and Gladstone were con- 
sidering relinquishing Uganda. Such a course would have 
interfered not only with his dream of Empire, but also with 
his plans for the trans-continental telegraph line which he 
intended should go through that country. Rhodes therefore 
suggested, somewhat surprisingly, that he should * run 
Uganda for twenty-five thousand a year/ Lord Rosebery 
backed up this policy so strongly that a Government Com- 
mission was appointed to report on the outlook ; and as the 
members of this commission were Sir Gerald Portal and 
Colonel Frank Rhodes, the result was a foregone conclusion. 
Uganda was saved, but only by the importunities of Rhodes, 
who then quickly returned to Cape Town for the opening of 
Parliament. 

In the autumn of 1892 Rhodes again went to England, 
accompanied by Sivewright, who now was knighted for his 
services in regard to the railway. But in their absence, 
discontent at Sivewright's methods especially in regard to 
the granting of certain railway contracts which actually 
amounted to monopolies broke out strongly, and Rhodes 
realised that on his return something most be done to 
remedy matters. 

In a speech to the shareholders of the Chartered Company 
he dealt at length with his idea of the overland telegraph to 
Egypt, in the way of which scheme he could perceive no 
serious opposition. ' I do not propose to fight the Madhi, 
but to deal with him, 5 said Rhodes. f l have never met 
anyone in my life whom it was not as easy to deal with as 
to fight. . . . There is the commercial aspect as well as the 
imaginative, and I feel no doubt about the success of the 
undertaking provided the Madhi is squared/ 

In conclusion he again stated his aim c never to lose an 
opportunity of pointing out to the people that in view of the 
fact that these islands can only support six out of their 
thirty-six millions, and that the rest of the world is trying to 
exclude our goods, we cannot afford to part with one inch 
of the world's surface which affords a free and open market 
to the manufactures of our countrymen.' In this regard 



150 RHODES : A LIFE 

Rhodes now addressed the following letter to the Secretary 
of State for Foreign Affairs : 

'Most Confidential* 

c MY LOBD, Understanding that Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment is considering the question of the retention of Uganda 
under her protection, I think it well to state for their infor- 
mation that I am prepared to extend at once the line of 
telegraph from Salisbury, the capital of Mashonaland, to 
Uganda without asking Her Majesty's Government for any 
contribution. I would point out that it may be necessary 
to obtain the sanction of the German Government for the 
construction of that portion of the line which would pass 
through their East African territory. I would therefore ask, 
provided this right is not already secured by treaty, that 
Her Majesty's Government should take such steps as they 
may consider necessary to obtain it. It may be well to state 
that I seek no monopoly in the German territory, all I wish 
is to have the right of construction, and I beg, provided 
Her Majesty's Government concur in my proposal, that 
action should be taken without delay, as I am particularly 
desirous to order the necessary material before returning to 
the Cape, so as to commence the construction at once and 
complete with all possible despatch. 

c The British South Africa Company constructed the line 
from Mafeking to Salisbury, about 1000 miles in length, in 
less than 18 months, and in my judgment, considering 
the facilities of water transit afforded by the lake system, 
I could complete the line to Uganda in a similar time. The 
extension northwards from Salisbury will, according to the 
arrangements I have already made, pass via Blantyre, near 
to which Her Majesty's Commissioner, Mr. H. H. Johnston, 
resides, up Lake Nyasa, and from there to the southern end 
of Lake Tanganyika. Beyond Tanganyika I shall be pre- 
pared to extend the line to whatever point in Uganda Her 
Majesty's Government may desire. I may add that my 
ultimate object is to connect with the telegraph system now 

x MicheilL 



TROUBLES AND VICTORIES 151 

existing in Egypt, which I helieve extends as far as Wady 
Haifa, but I am fully aware under existing circumstances at 
Khartoum such an undertaking cannot be at present carried 
out/ 

Rhodes then returned to South Africa by way of Egypt, 
where he conferred with Lord Kitchener on his beloved 
project, the trans-continental telegraph line. At this time 
he seemed almost obsessed by the idea of stretching a wire 
from one end of Africa to the other. 

Travelling thus slowly down the east coast, lie did not 
reach. Cape Town until March, when he found that his col- 
leagues in the ministry were now unanimous in demanding 
the retirement of Sir James Sivewright. Merriman, Sauer, 
and Innes absolutely declined to remain in the same cabinet, 
and therefore the three or the one had to be sacrificed. 
Faced with this complication, Rhodes placed his resignation 
in the hands of the Governor. 

The next day he formed his second ministry, excluding 
all the dissentient members, a rather wholesale clear- 
ance for which the country inevitably suffered. Though 
Rhodes's old colleagues were both hurt and disappointed, 
they refused to relinquish the friendship and admiration for 
him which held them and in which they had worked to- 
gether for so long. The following is a note written by Sauer 
to Rhodes at this time, and gives ample proof of the feeling 
with which all regarded the Premier : 

C MY DEAB RHODES, Only a word. The coming and 
going of ministers must be ; but our severance is to me a 
pain. I shall, however, look back to my association with 
you as one of the honours and pleasures of my life. * * 

In the new ministry, Sprigg took Meiriman's place, while 
Schreiner became Attorney-General, in which position he 
was afterwards succeeded by H. EL Juta. 

At this time all seemed to be going well, both with his 
parliamentary affairs and with the new territories over which 
Rhodes had stretched his expansion policy. Mr. Bryce (Prof. 

1 Michell. 



152 RHODES : A LIFE 

James Bryce, afterwards British Ambassador to the United 
States), who had visited Mashonaland, in comparing it with 
a -mining town or camp in Western America, said : ' I was 
much struck by the large proportion of well-mannered, well- 
educated men whom one came across in this tropical wilder- 
ness. Absence of saloons and bars is amazing ; while there 
is, of course, a free use of alcohol there is no shooting such 
as goes on in American mining towns ; and crimes and 
violence of any kind are extremely rare. Settlers keep flock- 
ing in ; storekeepers are doing a roaring trade ; and samples 
of ore are every day being brought in from newly exposed 
gold reefs/ 

Under Jameson's rough and ready, but none the less 
effective, administration, blocks of substantial buildings 
gradually replaced the mud huts and tents which had origi- 
nally been the township of Fort Salisbury ; a branch of the 
Standard Bank was opened ; printed papers replaced the 
cyclostyle sheets, which were the first means of circulating 
news ; and in 1S92 the telegraph line arrived. Thus the 
pioneers, who for two years had been practically cut off from 
the outer world, could now receive news from England 
despatched only the day before. By October 1892 George 
Pauling and A. L. Lawley, the well-known railway con- 
tractors, had completed seventy-five miles of the railway 
from Beira towards Mashonaland in face of tremendous 
losses among their employees from malaria, and despite the 
difficulties the frequent floods of the Pungwe River created. 
No fewer than 63 per cent, of the white employees on this 
work died, while the death-rate among the natives was fully 
30 per cent. To-day, thanks to Patrick Hanson and Ronald 
Ross, this part of the country is comparatively healthy. 

On the other hand, there were grievances enough in the 
new country for those who wished to find them. The cost 
of living was enormous ; many miners complained of the 
company's claim to a half interest in all mineral properties ; 
native labourers were short ; food was necessarily of the 
roughest description ; and liquor, which was undoubtedly 
in great demand, very scarce. 



TROUBLES AND VICTORIES 153 

The Matabele continued to make small raids on the 
Mashona tribes. They killed the chief Lomagunda and 
raided his village ; and later in the same year, by Loben- 
gula's order, another important chief, Chibi, was murdered, 
as were many of his people, and scores of the younger 
women and children were made prisoners. After both these 
actions Jameson, who at this time was more occupied with 
helping the settlers over difficulties than in considering the 
hostility against the white men still seething among the 
Matabele tribes, sent letters of expostulation to Lobengula, 
whose only answer was to repeat that he had no intention 
of interfering with the white people ; but other outrages of 
the same character followed. Lobengula's impis could not 
understand why the white men should concern themselves 
over their harassing the Mashona tribes, which actually, 
in addition to outraging the humanities, deprived the white 
settlers of all their native labourers, for when Matabele 
raiding parties entered the country, the terrified Mashonas 
fled to the Tiilla and caves, and farming and mining work 
came to a standstill. As time went on the Matabele 
became more and more impudent and reckless, and in 
several cases while apparently wreaking their vengeance on 
their Mashona neighbours they actually drove off herds of 
the white men's cattle. On the whole, however, they did 
not molest the new settlers very seriously, and I had per- 
sonal experience of this, as with a companion, Mr. John W. 
Cock, I was in the Naka hills, near the Lundi River 
and distant from Victoria some forty miles, about the end 
of 1892, when one day we found ourselves surrounded by a 
Matabele raiding impi of some 400 strong, who promptly 
robbed our unfortunate carriers of all their belongings but 
touched nothing of ours, although they gave us a very bad 
time, repeatedly threatening to Mil us and ordering us to 
return to Victoria at once and give up looking for gold to 
the west of that place. But for the fact that they were 
fairly well controlled by M'Gondana, the induna of the regi- 
ment, we would never have been allowed to get safely away. 
Eventually, at our urgent request and by paying them with 



154 RHODES : A LIFE 

some of our rugs, they allowed our carriers some grain and 
we were hustled off, and we lost no time in putting as many 
miles between them and ourselves as we could, for all round 
us were shrieking Mashonas being butchered and their kraals 
blazing in every direction. On our arrival at Fort Victoria 
we reported the occurrence by wire to Jameson at Salisbury, 
who replied : * You had no right to be beyond the Shashi 
River ; you will both be in trouble with me if you are again/ 
Instructions had apparently been issued, of which we were 
unaware, that no prospecting was to be undertaken west of 
that river for the time being. 

Jameson viewed these increasing depredations with much 
uneasiness, but as at fhia time the finances of the Chartered 
Company had been very much weakened by the heavy ex- 
penses incurred over the development of the country, it was 
necessary to temporise. This he did successfully, until in 
May 1893 the new telegraph line on the pioneer road was cut 
between Tuli and Victoria and several hundred yards of 
wire were removed. On investigation this theft was traced 
to ' some natives under Gomalla, a petty chief, and Jameson 
sent police in order to make these men . . . pay a fine of 
cattle. Gomalla, with an alacrity which should have 
raised suspicion, handed over a number of cattle which 
he described as his own, but which were in reality some 
that he had received from Lobengula for herding. He 
then sent to inform Lobengula that the white men had 
seized the royal herds. 

* When Jameson heard the true facts he at once ordered the 
cattle to be returned, and explained to Lobengula the trick 
which had been played, and took the opportunity of impres- 
sing on him that it was a serious matter for the Matabele 
people to tamper with the white men's telegraph line. 9 * 

In Bulawayo, Colenbrander and ' Matabele ' Wilson who 
had both previously represented other interests and who 
had now entered the service of the Chartered Company 
were with the king, who it appears now turned upon 
Wilson, whom he liked and trusted, and asked him why 



TROUBLES AND VICTORIES 155 

Jameson had taken his cattle. * " I do not know, king," 
Wilson answered discreetly, " I am not Jameson. He is a 
big induna." The king appeared to ponder over this 
answer, and some little time afterwards he said to Wilson, 
" Go to my storehouse and tell me what you see." So Wilson 
went to the king's storehouse and found a vast heap of guns 
the rifles sent by Rhodes three years before all flung down 
anyhowin heaps and covered with rust. " What did you see ? " 
asked theking. "Isawmany guns," Wilson replied, "covered 
with rust." Then the king said, " Make them ready for use," 
and, as royal orders were not to be disobeyed in Bulawayo, 
Wilson got the guns cleaned. Then the king sent for a rifle, 
and, handing it to the induna, BTGondana, said, " Take your 
impi and go over to Victoria and get my cattle that my 
slaves have stolen." * 1 From this and other evidence secured 
at a later date it is clear that Lobengula armed his men with 
rifles and sent them into the Mashona country directly 
against Jameson's warnings. 

Soon afterwards large parties of Matabele appeared in 
Mashonaland with the object, so they said, of solely teaching 
the thieving Mashona a lesson, from which it would appear 
that Lobengula had forbidden the impis to interfere with the 
white men or their property. This raid, organised on a large 
scale, seems to have been a desperate effort of the old chief 
to reassert that authority which he felt he was gradually 
losing. He wished to insist that the Mashonas were still his 
property. 

On July 9th, some farmers near Victoria found that 
neighbourhood was overrun with Lobengnla's impis, who 
were driving masses of unhappy Mashonas before them. 
They paid no attention to the warnings and threats of the 
white men, but appropriated all the cattle, including those 
of the local farmers. They actually penetrated on to the 
commonage of the little settlement and murdered or carried 
off many of the personal servants of the settlers. 

The inhabitants of the district quickly got together and 
sent word to Jameson, and put the township into a satis- 

1 Colvin. 



156 RHODES: A LIFE 

factory state of defence by enrolling all able-bodied men as 
volunteers, mounting machine-guns on the walls of the fort, 
and placing pickets by day and night to guard them against 
any surprise attack. Jameson at once set out for Victoria, 
and by the time of his arrival a force of close on 400 men 
was under arms. 

On his journey from Salisbury he had realised the serious- 
ness of the situation, for he saw Mashona villages burning 
and forces of the Matabele driving off mules which he knew 
were the property of Europeans. He found the whole white 
population of the district gathered at the little fort 
and surrounded by barbed-wire entanglements. On the 
following day Jameson had an indaba with the Chiefs, 
when he told them plainly that they could not harry the 
Mashonas as they had done in the old days ; that they must 
retire at once over the border, and return the prisoners they 
had taken and the cattle they had driven away. Some 
agreed ; but others, completely out of hand, continued 
raiding the villages near by, until the time in which they 
had been given to get across the border had elapsed. 

Thereupon a force of police and volunteers under Captain 
Lendy, after giving the raiders full warning, which elicited 
a most impudent reply, dispersed them by a charge, in the 
course of which about a dozen natives were killed and the 
remainder beat a rapid retreat. By the following day the 
district was clear of Matabele raiders. 

The settlers now begged to be allowed to try conclusions 
with the Matabele and settle the question finally, since they 
felt that until this savage race was crushed there was little 
hope for a peaceful farming community, and the lives and 
property of white settlers would never be safe while such 
warlike tribes lived within a hundred miles of their homes. 
In addition to this, it was probably in their minds that 
Matabeleland was more valuable than Mashonaland from 
a cattle-raising point of view, and many of the settlers, 
especially those who were disappointed so far with their own 
fortunes, looked with eager eyes towards that fertile country. 

The settlers pointed out to Jameson, and rightly, that 



TROUBLES AND VICTORIES 157 

they must either fight the Matabele or leave the country, 
for without labourers no work could be done ; and they also 
feared that when the next rainy season came and they were 
cut off from the south, Lobengula's impis would return and 
massacre them all. 

In sympathy with the feelings of the settlers, Jameson 
sent Rhodes a message saying the raids of the Matabele 
could no longer be tolerated, and if not put an end to the 
settlers would have to leave the country, and adding that 
he proposed to fight ; to which Rhodes, who was in the 
House when he received it, scribbled in reply : e Read Luke 
xiv. 31 ' ; whereupon Jameson looked up his Bible and found 
the text : c Or what Ving going to make war against another 
king sitteth not down first and consulteth whether he be 
able with ten thousand to meet Tmn that cometh against 
him with twenty thousand ? ' Upon reading this, Jameson, 
after consulting with Willoughby, Heany, and others, felt he 
could safely take the field, and replied, * All right ; have 
read Luke xiv. 31.' 

Rhodes was much worried by this sudden turn of events, 
when all had seemed to be prospering with his new country. 
For the time being he did not see how the Chartered Company 
could bear the expense of a native war, since it had spent all 
available funds on development in Mashonaland, and Rhodes 
himself had used his own money for the telegraph line. When 
all this was put to Jameson, he, however, only replied by 
still more insistent telegrams, repeating the absolute neces- 
sity for sufficient money to carry through the campaign. In 
the end, by selling fifty thousand of his own shares, Rhodes 
found the necessary funds. Major Forbes, the magistrate 
of Salisbury, was put in charge of the company's forces ; 
and in a very short time reported that he had everything 
ready. Almost every white mgn in Mashonaland had volun- 
teered for service in response to the call, the consideration 
offered to each volunteer being not the payment of so much 
a day, but the right to mark off a farm of six thousand acres, 
twenty gold claims, and a share of any cattle taken. 

Jameson realised that if he were to have success he must 



158 EHODES: A LIFE 

move rapidly before the rains broke, and he lost not a 
minute, for on 5th September one column set out from Salis- 
bury under Forbes, while Jameson and Sir John Willoughby 
made a lightning visit to Tuli and afterwards hurried back 
to Victoria and on to Fort Charter, where they met the 
Salisbury forces on the 30th September. Jameson then 
inspected them and settled all details with Forbes, who there- 
upon assumed full command. After this Jameson hastened 
back to Victoria and got that column started and so arranged 
its march that it should meet the one from Salisbury on a 
given date at Iron Mine Hill, and this was duly accomplished. 
At this time Jameson wrote to his brother : * Now I am 
fairly square and will start from here on the 7th, sending off 
the Salisbury column on the 6th and the Tuli crowd the 
same day that I go. The show is bigger than I intended, 
and therefore more expensive, which is annoying. How- 
ever, it will make it all the more certain. ... In fact this 
is a regular army my first, and I swear it shall be my last. 
I always did hate the military gentlemen.' * 

Meanwhile Rhodes was struggling with an obstruction 
policy pursued by the Colonial Office, which wished to 
hamper the actions of the Chartered Company by trying to 
control the war against the Matabele from Downing Street. 
When everything was ready and Jameson's force was 
waiting to move, the High Commissioner still hesitated to 
give his consent, until on 5th October a patrol of his own 
Bechuanaland Police was fired on by the Matabele. There- 
upon he sent a long telegram to Jameson telling him that 
whatever his plans for the advance of the columns, they 
had better now be carried out. On 6th October Jameson 
replied that he was moving forward ; and, two days later, he 
and Sir John Willoughby rode out and joined the Victoria 
column. 

On 18th September, only a few days after Parliament rose, 
Rhodes hurried on board the German and voyaged up the 
coast to Beira. Dr. Sauer met him on the Pungwe and they 
travelled up together to Mashonaland, moving slowly, as 

1 Colvia. 



TROUBLES AND VICTORIES 159 

Rhodes had no wish to be in tonch with the High Com- 
missioner and the Colonial Office until Jameson's column 
had actually started and the British Government could 
vacillate no longer. On hearing, however, that Jameson 
had started he pushed ahead as fast as he could, spent 
a few days in Salisbury where he got a fresh relay of mules, 
and then parting from Dr. Sauer, who followed the column 
route towards Bulawayo, he travelled south in company 
with Sir Charles Metcalf e to Victoria, where he had asked me 
to meet hi with a mining geologist. Instructing us to 
follow the column and report as to whether Matabeleland 
was geologically favourable for the occurrence of mineral 
deposits, and deeping only overnight there, he pressed on 
towards Tuli next morning, heading, I firmly believed, for 
Cape Town, but as will be seen later that was not his intention. 

The Matabele, though outnumbering the whites by fully 
ten to one, were defeated in two decisive battles, and these 
astonishing defeats so worked upon the fears of Lobengula 
that he abandoned his kraal and trekked to the north-west. 
Moving forward rapidly, Major Forbes and Jameson entered 
Bulawayo on the 4th November and ran up the Chartered 
Company's flag in the now ruined kraal. 

Meanwhile the Secretary of State had telegraphed to Cape 
Town insisting that any negotiations with Lobengula must 
be conducted by the High Commissioner, which instructions 
were then transmitted to Rhodes in Salisbury. Determined 
to keep the future settlement of Matabeleland, so far as 
possible, in his own hands, Rhodes replied that, since the 
company had asked the Imperial Government for nothing, 
but had borne the whole expense of the campaign, they 
claimed the right to make the settlement if they were vic- 
torious. In this contention Rhodes received the full support 
of Cape Colony and generally of the whole of South Africa ; 
but as the fighting force did not come into contact with 
Lobengula there was no question of a parley, and the 
threatened quarrel between Rhodes and the Imperial 
authorities evaporated. 

Goold Adams, who commanded a small Imperial force, 



160 RHODES: A LIFE 

had, much to Rhodes's satisfaction, failed to reach Bula- 
wayo till some days after its occupation by Jameson. The 
latter now decided to send out a small force under Forbes to 
attempt the capture of Lobengula ; but the movement of 
troops had become very difficult owing to the heavy rains, 
and when Forbes reached the banks of the Shangani River 
he was uncertain whether or not the old king had actu- 
ally crossed. He therefore formed a camp where he was, 
and sent a small party forward under Major Allan Wilson 
with orders to discover the whereabouts of the chief, and 
to rejoin the column that night. When dusk came they 
had not returned, and Forbes, deciding that he could not 
follow up Wilson in the darkness, sent forward a small 
additional force of twenty men to support him. Before 
sunrise heavy firing was heard, the column was attacked 
by a large force of the enemy, the river came down in 
flood, and Forbes was only able to retreat from his pre- 
carious position under heavy fire. He was joined later 
by three scouts from Wilson's party, and from them and 
from later native reports the terrible fate of Wilson's 
patrol became known. Apparently finding themselves 
close to Lobengula's camp they decided to try to capture 
the old chief by a sudden assault upon his hut. They 
even succeeded in getting within a few yards of it, but 
were then driven back. They retreated into the bush, but 
were gradually hemmed in by several of the king's regiments 
who began to realise how small a force they had against 
them, and after rising all their ammunition, Wilson's 
men were killed one by one standing loyally shoulder to 
shoulder. 

The failure of Forbes's expedition to achieve its principal 
object was almost entirely due to extremely adverse climatic 
conditions, and Jameson saw clearly that no further opera- 
tions could be undertaken until the rains had ceased. 
The Matabele indunas had begun to realise the rashness of 
their behaviour, and several deputations came to Bulawayo 
to ask for peace. Jameson therefore sent out word that 
those who delivered up their arms would be allowed to go 



TROUBLES AND VICTORIES 161 

in peace, and many of them did so. But no news came of 
Lobengula until two months later. 

Although his fighting men had completely wiped out 
Allan Wilson and his small force, leaving not one man alive, 
the king knew that it helped hi not in the least, and but 
for his ill-health it is highly probable that he would have 
gone back and surrendered to Jameson. But he felt his end 
was near, and calling together those faithful indunas and 
warriors who still remained with him, he said to the former : 
c I did not ever wish to fight Rhodes and Jameson, but you 
with my other indunas urged me so that I yielded. Now I 
am an outcast. You forced me to kill Lotje, because he 
advised me to remain friendly with Rhodes. He was my 
friend and not the others of you, but he has gone and I am 
following him. Go now all of you to Rhodes and seek his 
protection. He will be your chief and friend.' To the 
fighting men present he said : ' You have done your best, 
my soldiers ; you can help me no more. I thank you all. 
Go now to your kraals, and M'Jana, the greatest of you all, 
will go to Rhodes, who will make all things right for you. 
To all of you I say Go in peace.' Before twenty-four hours 
had elapsed Lobengula was no more, and M'Jana, the general- 
issimo of all his regiments, in due course reached Bulawayo 
and gave this account of his last hours. The old king had 
died on the banks of the Shangani from smallpox, with 
only a few of his indunas and councillors by him, and 
deserted by all save three or four of his regiments. 

Rhodes, on hearing all this, was filled with that sympathy 
he always had for a gallant enemy, and he arranged to 
undertake the education and make himself responsible for 
the well-being of the old chief's sons, three of whom had 
joined him in his flight and were with hi when he died. 
He also saw to the fulfilment of the king's wishes as far as 
he could. 

From Tuli Rhodes with Metcalfe secured a fresh team of 
mules, and turning off the road to the Cape took the track 
to Bulawayo which had been previously made by the forces 
under Colonel Goold-Adams. On the way they overtook a 

M-C.B. L 



162 RHODES: A LIFE 

-small detachment of reinforcing troops who were going hard 
in the hope of getting some fighting, but Rhodes was travel- 
ling faster than they were, and waiting only to get the well- 
known scout, * Bulala Taylor/ from them as a guide and 
three horses, he hurried on towards the end of the journey, 
latterly on horseback, and reached Bulawayo about the 
middle of December. He was expected by nobody, but soon 
found Jameson's tent. ' Well. I'm damned ! ' said Jameson, 
6 where the devil have you come from ? ' Rhodes chuckled 
with glee. ' Tell him, Metcalfe/ he said, c how we beat them 
all to get here first and so give hi a surprise.' For the 
rest of that afternoon Metcalfe acted as sentry and enabled 
the other two to talk. 

La a speech to 'Dr. Jameson, officers and men of the 
various columns ' made on December 19th, 1893, Rhodes 
thanked them for what they had done and referred to the 
settlers of whom he was rightly proud as e The Conquerors 
of Matabeleland.' From this speech we realise how much 
the Premier of Cape Colony had wished at this time to be 
merely the leader of his own people. He said : ' I must tell 
you I regret standing in what I may call stolen clothes. 
Everything done in regard to your campaign has been done 
by Dr. Jameson and yourselves, with the co-operation of the 
Bechuanaland Border Police. . . . Now it is for me to use 
my brains in getting capital to build railways and public 
works to found a state south of the Zambesi, which I hope 
will be one of the largest and at the same time one of the 
richest in South Africa.' 

Rhodes and Jameson lost no time in getting busy with 
matters relating to the Administration of the new territory, 
and the former, with his strong vein of sentiment predo- 
minating as usual, arranged for the survey of a township 
to be called Bulawayo close to the kraal of Lobengula, and 
the erection of a house for the Administrator of the territory 
was put in hand on the actual site of the king's huts. 

Meanwhile, constant questions were coming through from 
the Colonial Office and a good deal of none too friendly 
criticism was emanating from sources that had hoped for the 



TROUBLES AND VICTORIES 163 

failure of Jameson's venture, and for this reason Rhodes very 
soon left for the south so as to get in touch with the telegraph 
wire the construction of which to Bulawayo had not yet 
commenced and to do all possible to secure a free hand for 
the company in the country they had somewhat surprisingly 
won, against apparently overwhelming odds. So ended 
the Matabele War won undoubtedly by the brilliant dash 
and swift movement of Jameson. Yet but for Rhodes's 
foresight in arranging for the. advance of a body of troops 
from Tuli which placed the Matabele between two fires, a 
very different story might have resulted, for Jameson burnt 
all his boats in leaving no reserves behind him of men, trans- 
port, or supplies. But to the victor the credit ! The cost 
for the object achieved was a mere nothing about 100,000. 
Within six months of its occupation Bulawayo had a popu- 
lation of 1200, and a further thousand were spread over 
Matabeleland, engaged in fanning and trading. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE COMMON WEAL 
1894 

As soon as he was able to get away Rhodes left Bulawayo 
for Cape Town, in happy frame of mind we may be sure, 
and very shortly after his arrival there he was entertained 
at a public banquet (January 6, 1894) by representatives of 
all parties of the Cape, no matter what their political views. 
At this gathering he made a noteworthy speech. He 
reminded his hearers that he had stated very openly twelve 
years before that he meant to work in season and out of 
season to do all he could to obtain the hinterland lying to 
the north of the Cape Colony not for bis own ends but as 
a means of furthering the development of the Cape Colony. 
He had found everyone against him ; he could not get a 
single vote in favour of his ideas and had to continue fighting 
with no encouragement from anyone. In the end things had 
come out all right. He had made the acquisition of the 
interior a paramount part of his politics. Africa was the 
last uncivilised part of the world open for occupation by 
those fit to civilise it, and who were more fitted to do so than 
those living at its healthy base ? They were the right and 
proper people to do it. He was fortunate in seeing his ideas 
come to fruition. The end had been accomplished with the 
help of some of his friends as regards finance, and for the 
other part the most essential part with the help of the 
youth of the Cape chiefly. ' The gentlemen who volunteered 
to destroy the Matabele power had been/ he went on, 
* butchers, bakers, men in stores, and men connected with 
business in the Cape. Fortunately, a number of them had 

164 



THE COMMON WEAL 165 

had volunteer training. These men, most of whom had been 
settled in Mashonaland for less than two years, went through 
the campaign like trained troops, won the position and occu- 
pied Bulawayo. Out of 1500 people (including women and 
children), over 650 had volunteered for service. Did these 
people desert their families and risk their lives for a gain of 
forty or fifty pounds ? No, they volunteered for the job, 
because they wished to have peaceful settlement in the 
country of their adoption to enable them to build homes for 
their wives and sweethearts and raise their families with 
reasonable safety to their womenkind. And yet, to use one 
of the milder terms applied to them, they have been called 
unprincipled filibusters. Gentlemen, you who know the 
circumstances and the conditions that had arisen, may be 
proud of them as their critics in England will yet be, and it 
should make you feel stronger and better that they under- 
took and successfully carried the work to the conclusion 
they did.' The speech closed with a note of warning urging 
those present and others who might read or hear of it not to 
expect great results too soon. e When you ask for imme- 
diate movement in these matters, I think of the warning of 
Sir Bartle Frere : " You must never hurry anything, gentle- 
men ; we must go step by step in accordance with the feeling 
and sentiment of the people as a whole." ' And as a reward 
for the work he had done and was doing he asked for 
' the highest reward a human bring can attain ; and that 
reward, Mr. Chairman, is the trust, the confidence, and the 
appreciation of my fellow-citizens. 9 

A general election was now pending, and Rhodes, with not 
a day's rest since he left the Cape in mid-September, took 
the train to Kimberley, where on January 15th he made a 
vigorous speech dealing with many of the unfounded charges 
which were being levelled against him, especially in England, 
and pointed out that even Sidney Buxton and Gladstone had 
rebuked his traducers. On the 18th he delivered a speech 
to his De Beers shareholders at their annual meeting, and 
on January 29th he addressed his constituents at Barkly 
West, where he set out his views and proposed policy if 



166 RHODES: A LIFE 

returned to power, laying special stress on the urgent need 
for the Dutch and English to work together in the interests 
of the whole of South Africa. He further stressed the neces- 
sity for a more enlightened native policy and the running 
of the separate railways in the different South African states 
under a combined working system. He spoke elsewhere as 
well, and his chief subject was the native question, which he 
knew full well was a thorny one, but he was determined that 
it should not be e burked ' for the sake of office. The elec- 
tion was keenly fought all through the colony, but it ended 
in a great victory for Rhodes and his ministers. In a House 
of seventy-six members the opposition could not count on 
more than twenty-eight votes with any certainty. 

Rhodes, now that he had such a big majority behind him, at 
once turned his attention to affairs in the native territory of 
Pondoland. Under chief Sigcau this tribe, numbering some 
225,000, had been giving constant trouble for years, raiding 
their neighbours' herds and crops, looting stores and farms, 
even going the length of murdering. The Governor, Sir 
Henry Loch, had paid a recent visit to the territory and had 
been most insolently received, and it was felt that the time 
had come to bring this chief to his senses as he was a dis- 
turbing element to the rest of the colony. After discussions 
with the Imperial Government and Natal, it was agreed 
for the safety and prosperity of the Cape that Pondoland 
should be annexed to that colony. Rhodes thought it 
advisable to go and see the chiefs himself, and with Mr. W. 
Milton (now Sir William Milton) and 100 mounted police 
under Colonel Stanford who was particularly well up in 
all native affairs he set out, much against the advice of his 
ministers and the Governor. After meeting with some un- 
pleasantness, when Stanford advised a retreat which Rhodes 
would not consider, they reached the kraal of N'Quiliso, 
Sigcau's chief induna, who had been giving a great deal of 
trouble for years. Rhodes summoned him to meet him. 
Arriving with some 300 armed men, this warrior and his 
councillors soon lost their self-confidence, and the result of 
a long conference was that Rhodes agreed to all their reason- 



THE COMMOX ^YEAL 167 

able wishes but flatly declined to consider any grievance 
that was not justified. Those of the minor indunas who 
were still inclined to be insolent were told to go until they 
learnt how to behave at such a conference, and finally Rhodes 
told N'Quiliso that by the Queen's wish Pondoland was now 
part of the Cape Colony, and as such would be administered 
by himself, and that he was on the way to see and inform 
the ruling chief, Sigcau, of the change. He talked sternly 
to N'Quiliso of his past misdeeds, and said any further crimes 
would be most severely dealt with, and he left a much 
chastened party behind him when he moved on. 

On reaching the district where Sigcau's kraal was situated, 
Rhodes sent a message to that chief to come to his camp at 
once, which rather puzzled the chief, seeing that Sir Henry 
Loch had asked for an interview with him, which request he 
did not comply with for three days. What sort of man was this 
Rhodes, whose message was not of the type to which he was 
accustomed ? Perhaps it might be wise to comply with the 
order, however, and rather dourly he rode in state with a 
number of his smaller chiefs to meet this personage who was 
taking so much on himself. But Rhodes, in view of the 
indignity put on the Governor, now kept putting Sigcau off 
till three days had elapsed ! thus calling back the insult 
which had been levelled at Sir Henry. By this time Sigcau 
and his followers were in a very much less bellicose frame of 
mind, and Rhodes now told him and his sub-chiefs plainly 
that he and his councillors were unfit to govern themselves 
let alone their tribe, and that they must come under authority. 
Rhodes told me that he then took them for a walk towards 
a field of mealies on which some machine-guns had been 
trained. At a given signal the guns opened fire and dramati- 
cally laid low the mealie crop. ' And that is what will happen 
to you and your tribe if you give us any further trouble,' the 
Premier remarked grimly. He then announced that the 
country was to be annexed, and had no difficulty in showing 
the natives at a great indaba held a day or two afterwards 
when such grievances as they had were discussed, that they 
would be better off in every way under the rule of his 



168 RHODES : A LIFE 

government. Thus in much less than a month the long 
drawn out and troublesome question of Pondoland outrages 
and unrest was settled by the vigorous and fair-minded action 
of Rhodes. To prevent any possible disturbances a mounted 
police force was stationed in the territory for some time, but 
very little was ever required from it. Pondoland was 
officially annexed to the Cape in June 1S94. 

Rhodes always thought of the native races as children, 
and, though just, was ready when necessary to display that 
firmness which is needed to ensure respect. ' If you are 
really one who cares for the natives,' he said once, * you must 
make them worthy of the country they live in, or else they 
are certain, by an inexorable law, to lose their country. 
You will certainly not make them worthy if you allow them 
to sit in idleness, and if you do not train them in the arts of 
civilisation.' During all this time Rhodes was planning 
further northern schemes, and one of these included the 
populating of Ngamiland which, in addition to being a part 
of his scheme for painting red the map of Africa, meant the 
pushing in of a wedge between the German and British spheres 
of influence, and also trying the experiment of ' seeing how 
a country would thrive in Africa which was settled by whites 
and from which natives were absent.' 

Having obtained a concession from Moremi a chief with 
a fairly reasonable claim to possession of the territory, who 
was anxious to see the British there, as he dreaded the Ger- 
mans Rhodes issued an advertisement offering farms of ten 
thousand acres in Ngamiland for one pound. Free farms were 
also promised to the eldest sons of those who took up land, 
in addition to the necessary machinery for water boring. In 
spite of the waterless desert of the Kalahari known to lie 
between any white settlement and these promised farms, 
about sixty families of British and Dutch descent accepted 
Rhodes's offer, and with their women and children prepared 
for the adventure. 

By June 1894 these families, with more than a thousand 
head of cattle and many waggons, together with horses and 
sheep, goats and poultry, assembled at Maritsani in Bechu- 



THE COMMON WEAL 169 

analand, to wait while a small party of pioneers advanced 
into the desert in order to dig wells along the route. This, 
however, the chief Bathoen in Bechuanaland territory 
refused to permit, and the white men were forced to turn 
back. 

A few months later, however, with the permission of 
Bathoen, on whom Rhodes had brought friendly pressure 
to bear, a small force did actually push out into the desert 
with orders to go right through and choose land for the main 
body of farmers, who were fretting at this delay on the out- 
set of their adventure. This force returned nearly two years 
later with glowing accounts of the country, which they said 
was rich in the finest of grasses, had no harsh destroying 
winds, no extreme heat or cold, and no malaria, but lacked 
surface water, which, however, they had proved at various 
points was obtainable in wells from 100 to 150 feet deep. 
It was not until 1898, however, that Rhodes was able to 
carry through this scheme to a successful conclusion. 

On his return to the Cape from Pondoland, the results of 
Rhodes's journeys among the native tribes and the years of 
study he had given to the whole native question appeared 
in definite form. Although at the outset of his career as 
Premier he had admitted having no defined native policy, 
his mind had been actively employed in thinking over the 
matter for two years, and now Parliament was called upon 
to consider the Glen Grey Act one of Rhodes's finest pieces 
of legislation and the first frank attempt ever made to deal 
with the native problem. This was a carefully thought out 
measure indicative of the understanding affection he always 
had for all the coloured races. Though constantly criticised 
and attacked from just this point, the years have shown that 
Rhodes was the truest friend the South African natives ever 
had. 

From the earliest days on the lonely cotton plantation in 
Natal until this time, when he was the largest employer of 
native labour in the country, Rhodes had always been in- 
terested in and friendly with the natives, though he upheld 
on the highest level the prestige of the white man. 



170 RHODES : A LIFE 

Wherever he went he made friends with them, his personal 
servants were devotedly attached to Trim, and cheery grins 
always greeted his appearance in the grounds of Groote 
Schuur. Rhodes also possessed the uncommon gift of 
always recognising a native to whom he had once or twice 
spoken, and his influence with the chiefs both in Bechuana- 
land and in c his own country 5 was extraordinary. At 
Kimberley he would sometimes saunter through the com- 
pounds chaffing the older natives, who loved * the Groot 
Baas ' (the Great Master), settling their difficulties and learn- 
ing much about their tribal customs, in which he was always 
interested. He took great pleasure in the title e Father to 
the Natives,' and it was well deserved, for besides interesting 
himself in their welfare generally he paid close attention to 
the comfort of all those directly or indirectly in his employ, 
paying and feeding them well, and providing them when 
possible with such simple amusements as appealed to 
them. 

This Glen Grey Act which is sometimes referred to as 
Rhodes's favourite child advocated four principles : work, 
segregation in native reserves, individual property, and local 
self-government. Rhodes felt that it was wiser to segregate 
the natives from the whites until they had developed a 
further stage in civilisation. In their reserves, however, he 
wished them to have a certain measure of self-government ; 
and every encouragement to develop upon wider lines than 
had been hitherto possible. Throughout his life Rhodes had 
a great belief in the virtues of landed property as an aid to 
self-respect for both white and coloured people. He was 
careful to retain existing Kaffir laws as far as possible, 
provided they were consistent with justice. 

Rhodes knew he must expect much opposition to this bill, 
especially from the Dutch, some of whom still regarded the 
natives as little better than serfs intended by the Almighty 
to work on their farms and mines. He saw as well as anyone 
that sufficient native labour was necessary for the prosperity 
of the country, but he also wished the natives to learn 
for themselves that without work no nation can progress. 



THE COMMON WEAL 171 

He added, therefore, a labour tax of ten shillings, which 
was imposed on all male natives not in possession of landed 
property who did no work outside their own district. This 
clause was repealed some ten years later, as it had apparently 
fully fulfilled its purpose. His speeches on the subject, 
which were equalled by those of only one other speaker, 
John X. Merriman, showed a wonderful grasp of the position 
and great breadth of vision, and, as Merriman said, he was 
grappling in a statesmanlike way with a problem that had 
frightened all previous ministers owing to the magnitude of 
the difficulties that arose with it. As time goes on Rhodes 
will get more and more credit for his great efforts to solve 
this momentous and still unsettled question. After a great 
deal of opposition Rhodes carried the day, and the bill 
passed its third reading with a majority of thirty -five (sixty- 
seven members being present) after an all-night sitting, 
during which Rhodes made one of his best speeches on it. 
For years Rhodes had been advocating equal rights for every 
civilised man south of the Zambesi, and when asked to define 
' civilised man,' he added, * a man whether black or white 
who has sufficient education to write his name, has some 
property, or works, in fact is not a loafer.' 

In this year Rhodes opened a School of Mines in Kim- 
berley, which he hoped would be a practical help to younger 
generations of diggers. * I am entirely sick of these theo- 
retical things,' said he, f which end in a flourish of trumpets. 
I want this mining school to be such that when a man has 
been there he will go home not simply with a piece of paper 
in his pocket, but with the offer from a manager of a mine 
of a good situation/ 

During all the time he directed Cape politics Rhodes was 
so deeply concerned for the welfare of the farmers that no 
detail was too small for his consideration. When the orange 
groves around Table Mountain were attacked by insect pests, 
he arranged for the introduction of the American ladybird. 
He laid the foundation of scientific fruit growing, the results 
of which are being reaped to-day, and he did everything 
possible both by the introduction of better vines and by 



172 RHODES : A LIFE 

an attempt to gain a preferential tariff for South African 
vintages to aid the Cape wine farmers. 

In the face of strong opposition he brought in and passed 
the Scab Act, which provided for the compulsory isolation 
of infected flocks and the systematic dipping of all sheep. 
The Boer farmers, doggedly conservative and tenacious of 
their freedom of action even in the matter of adversities, 
never ceased opposing and attempting to elude the necessary 
supervision thus imposed. 

Rhodes possessed in a remarkable degree the habit of 
mind which deals with details as well as with results. He 
possessed the somewhat rare power of looking at a question 
from both sides and all round. His memory was extra- 
ordinary and never failed him when he wished to remember 
what someone else had done in a given situation ; while his 
swift imagination could always be relied upon to foresee 
what would happen in certain circumstances. 

Throughout the years he remained in power Rhodes, as 
already stated, worked for the prosperity of the farmers, 
the development of natural resources, and, above all, the 
welfare of the natives. He realised that these important 
matters were interdependent and could not reasonably be 
separated, since the natural resources of the country would 
bring prosperity to the farmer only so long as that farmer 
was able to obtain adequate native labour with which to 
develop those resources. On this combination Rhodes built 
up his scheme of prosperity for Cape Colony as the most 
important state in that future federated South Africa of 
which he dreamed, and in regard to which his eagerness was 
never sufficiently appreciated. 

Reference has already been made to Rhodes's efforts to 
raise the status of the native. Wherever he went he urged 
fair and reasonable treatment for them, and his sympa- 
thetic understanding of their various troubles and his desire 
to help them in every way created a feeling of friendliness 
on their part towards Trim which has probably never been 
excelled in South Africa. It comes therefore as a surprise 
to find an occasional writer charging Rhodes with being 



THE COMMON WEAL 173 

brutal to liis 'unoffending servants.' If they were not so 
laughable to those who knew how well he looked after all 
those who served frfm and how beloved he was by one and all 
of them, one might be tempted to pass some scathing remarks 
on such statements. Rhodes never hurt a native in his life. 
' The natives/ he said, when speaking on the Glen Grey Bill, 
' are children, and we ought to do something for the minds 
and brains that the Almighty has given them. I do not 
believe that they are different from ourselves.' To carry 
that bill he had to face great opposition, but by sheer hard 
fighting solely for the cause of the native he succeeded in 
passing the measure. Ehodes always endeavoured to 
recognise existing native law provided it was consistent with 
the principles of natural justice, and over thirty years ago 
he had the vision to see and the courage to set out what 
must soon become the inevitable policy for the permanent 
settlement of the vast difficulties that divide the black and 
white races in South Africa, when he declared his policy as 
' Equal rights for all civilised men south of the Zambesi.' 

This problem, it is now apparent to all, has reached such 
an acute stage that it can no longer be allowed to drift, and 
the remedies adopted for its solution will unquestionably 
have to be based on the broad lines enunciated by Rhodes. 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE RISING CLOUD 
1894-1895 

EVEE since the formation of the Chartered Company, Rhodes 
had been constantly attacked by certain newspapers, both 
in South Africa and in Europe, in articles which dealt with 
and severely criticised every detail of the progress and 
working of that company, these papers being subsidised by 
Kruger's -Government and Germany. At this time Kruger's 
Government was largely dependent upon German capital ; 
and to balance this a voting power, disproportionate even 
to their large holdings, was given to the German residents 
in the Transvaal. These facts, added to the unfairness with 
which British settlers and miners in his territory were treated, 
leave no doubt that had it not been for the work of Rhodes, 
Germany and Holland would one day have joined hands in 
an effort to stamp out any British power in South Africa. 

The Uitianders as all those from overseas outside Hol- 
landers were called were denied all political and municipal 
rights, were bled by unjust taxation, were hampered by 
Government monopolies, but were expected nevertheless 
to take up arms in any conflict with native tribes which 
Kruger's Government might decide on ; while the Boer, for 
his part, took all the voting and legislative rights as well as 
the governing and spending of revenue. 

In 1892 Charles Leonard formed the Transvaal National 
Union, which aimed at securing many very necessary reforms. 
But though the professional and working classes all joined 
this movement, the forces of capital for some time held 
aloof. 

174 



THE RISING CLOUD 175 

In 1894 the Uitlanders petitioned the Volksraad for relief 
and improvement in their status, but their petition was 
rejected with contempt by Kruger, who, disliking the num- 
bers of Englishmen now resident in the Transvaal, did his 
best to render their lot intolerable in the hope that they 
would leave the country. This, however, only encouraged 
them in their determination to gain political freedom, and 
murmurs began to be heard of a possible revolution. 

As soon as the Delagoa Bay railway reached Pretoria, 
the President assumed that there would be no further scope 
for the other railway, which he always referred to as 
' Rhodes's Railway,' from Cape Town to Johannesburg ; for 
all traffic to and from the goldfields would, he thought, go 
by the east coast route, which traversed a far shorter 
distance. Rhodes, however, knew that this argument would 
not stand against the actual facts, which were that, owing 
to his railway from Cape Town to Johannesburg being 
more efficiently run than the Delagoa Bay line under the 
joint dual control of Boers and Portuguese, it would attract a 
large proportion of the goldfields traffic to Cape Town, which 
in addition was one of the ports favoured by shippers to 
South Africa. 

When Kruger found that after all the greater bulk of the 
trade was not being carried by his Delagoa Bay railway, he 
organised a further plan of campaign that should eventually 
crush the rival line, which for its last forty miles ran over 
Transvaal territory and belonged to the Netherlands Com- 
pany. With the idea, therefore, of compelling merchants to 
import their goods via Delagoa Bay, Kruger raised the rates 
on that small section of the Cape line which was under his 
control, until at last it cost more to have goods conveyed 
over these forty miles than to send them the whole distance 
from Delagoa Bay to Johannesburg. In addition that part 
of the line was found to be constantly blocked with strings 
of empty trucks, which would occasion still more incon- 
venience to merchants waiting for their goods. On the other 
hand, the transit of everything that came up from Delagoa 
Bay was expedited. 



176 RHODES: A LIFE 

After pondering the question for a while, Rhodes replied 
to Kruger's challenge by himself setting up a fast and regular 
service of ox-waggons between Johannesburg and the Free 
State border. By this method goods were conveyed more 
cheaply and quickly, without being touched by Kruger's 
railway ; so that still a comparatively small amount of 
goods reached Johannesburg from the east coast, and this 
added to Kruger's growing anger. Rhodes had won another 
round in the game and the Dutch President in desperation 
now took a step which his cooler judgment would have told 
Tn'm was unwise. He closed the drifts and fords over the 
rivers, and forbade all goods from the south to be carried 
over them. In this way no imports could possibly reach the 
Transvaal from the south except by the railway. There 
was an outburst of indignation as soon as this proclamation 
was made known, for it was in direct disregard of the London 
Convention ; and not only the Dutch and British of the Cape 
and Free State, but the colonists of Natal and a large number 
of the more progressive of the Transvaal burghers all banded 
themselves together to protest against this outrageous action 
on the part of Kruger's Government. The High Commissioner 
lost no time in placing the state of affairs before the Colonial 
Office, which declared that c the action of the Transvaal 
Government in thus closing the drifts to traffic was a breach 
of the London Convention,' and Kruger was plainly and 
politely informed that a continued closure of the drifts after 
mid-November would be looked on as a declaration of war. 
Such unusual firmness from the Colonial Office came as a 
complete surprise to the President, who began to realise that 
he had gone too far and that he could not possibly fight the 
forces that would speedily be brought against him, nor were 
his plans at the moment sufficiently matured for him to 
provoke further the Uitlanders, whose legitimate political 
grievances were becoming unbearable. 

Kruger therefore withdrew from his impolitic position. 
Rhodes had secured a complete victory over the railway 
question ; but from now on Kruger was, as a result, definitely 
resolved to spare no pains to crush the young politician, wLo 



THE RISING CLOUD 177 

from their first meeting tad contrived to counteract his 
retrograde policy. Although Rhodes never retaliated by any 
show of personal dislike for the Transvaal President, whom 
he, in truth, admired, he was now assured that he would 
have to combat the concentrated essence of Boer obstinacy 
and conservatism by every means in his power, if he were 
to carry through those schemes of expansion and federation 
he had mapped out. Kruger had by this time convinced 
himself that all his troubles were due to Rhodes and the 
British Government, and he became obsessed with a strong 
hatred of both and took every opportunity of showing how 
bitter his feelings towards them were by blocking every effort 
they made to bring about better conditions for the 
Uitlanders. 

In September 1894 Rhodes had made a rapid tour of 
Mashonaland and Matabeleland. He took with him John 
Hays Hammond an American mining engineer of the 
highest repute from Johannesburg, whose opinion he was 
anxious to have on the value of certain properties. But 
though he reported fully on what he had been engaged for, 
Rhodes and Jameson, who was with him at the time learnt 
very much more from Hammond, who had come straight from 
Johannesburg, where things, he said, were not going at all 
well for the British settlers. The Uitlanders were not to be 
envied, for Kruger thwarted and annoyed them in every 
possible way ; and Rhodes, because he numbered among 
them many friends, and also because he realised the pros- 
perity of the Rand was a necessary factor in the development 
of South Africa, was extremely worried. 

Hays Hammond reported very favourably on the mineral 
deposits of the new territory and predicted a successful out- 
come from the many promising prospects which he saw, 
and this prediction has been amply fulfilled. This opinion 
was of the greatest moment to Rhodes, for both political 
and financial reasons ; but as Rhodes, with Jameson and 
Hammond, rode for long hours across the veld or sat 
around the camp fire in the evening, the talk was more 
often of the troubles of the Uitlanders than of the prospec- 

M.C.tt. *f 



178 RHODES : A LIFE 

tive wealth of the new country. c Unless a radical change 
is made/ Hammond told them, ' there will be a rising of 
the people of Johannesburg.' 

This news was serious. Rhodes and Jameson knew very 
well that it was impossible for the mining industry to work 
with Kruger, while obviously the Uitlanders had a right to 
the vote since they paid nearly all the taxes. Kruger, with 
a cleverness developed by long years of living among 
many very * slim ' politicians, continued to sit and smoke 
innumerable pipefuls of tobacco on the stoep of his cottage 
in Pretoria, saying nothing but becoming more and more 
determined each day that he was going to win the duel in 
which he was now engaged with Rhodes, who during the first 
bouts had come to respect the older man's fixity of purpose. 

It now seemed certain that the Uitlanders were resolved 
upon a change of government. They had tried persuasion 
and petition, and all had failed. Force only remained, and 
Rhodes was asked if he was ready to help them. 

Both he and Jameson sympathised very strongly with the 
miners Jameson because he invariably drove swiftly through 
life, not allowing himself to be influenced overmuch by 
any non-progressive idiosyncrasies of others ; and Rhodes 
because he had himself been a digger. What seemed to 
the mining engineer merely a grievance of the people 
of Johannesburg, and appeared to Jameson as, Colvin 
says, an appropriate subject for a swift surgical operation, 
was to Rhodes something very much deeper and greater : 
something that involved the whole future of his life policy 
in South Africa. 

Still, Rhodes was loth to give up his long hoped for plan 
of dealing with Kruger. Now that he had gained control 
of unlimited land for his forward policy of opening up the 
north and secured markets for the produce of the farmers 
and a satisfactory railway system, it appeared to him 
incredible that the Dutch President would not at some 
future date amalgamate with him. But in spite of this hope 
he now began for the first time to appreciate that he might 
have to relinquish his long cherished idea and approach 



THE RISING CLOUD 179 

the problem from quite another angle. With this in view 
he sent Jameson to investigate the actual conditions at 
Johannesburg. During all this period Rhodes was working 
at terrific pressure, and it is probable that in the year 1894 
he carried out more work than in any similar period of his 
life. What saved him from a breakdown was undoubtedly 
his habit of going to bed early generally about 10.30 p.m., 
and much earlier when on the veld and sleeping till about 
5 a.m., when he got up, and after a cup of coffee, generally 
taken in the kitchen of his house when he was at home, rode 
for an hour to an hour and a half, coming back fit and fresh. 
When he reached Salisbury about the middle of this 
year, he looked more worn out than I had seen him on any 
previous occasion, and was somewhat exacting and petulant 
at first, but this soon wore off after a few days on 
the veld. He had gone through a most strenuous parlia- 
mentary session at the Cape, where his policy as Prime 
Minister completely changed the relations previously exist- 
ing between the governments of the various colonies and 
the Imperial Government, and he showed the latter that not 
only could the colonies handle their own affairs successfully, 
but were able and fit to help the Imperial Government in 
many external affairs. He further established a hitherto 
unknown principle in Cape parliaments, and that was to use 
the power of his majority to press forward the progress of 
the country, whether or not it injured various sections for 
the time being. He stood for the interest of the community 
as a whole, and called upon the population of the country to 
accept this view as being essential to the welfare of the 
colony. He would have no half measures. Speaking at a 
dinner given "him by a few "mining and commercial men in 
Salisbury before he returned to the Cape, he said : ' I am 
told by my opponents and their press one day that Mr. 
Rhodes has done this when he ought to have done that, and 
on another that he has done that when he should have done 
something else. I wished to be fair, so I studied their points 
of view frequently and carefully as I would have liked to 
have met them, but as I could not fit them in with what I 



180 RHODES: A LIFE 

was convinced was in the real interests of the country, 
I decided I would truckle to no one, and that whether in 
office or out of office I would set up one goal to aim for, no 
matter at what cost to myself, and that goal was and remains 
the uninterrupted progress of Cape Colony and the federa- 
tion of all the South African States, so that through their 
unification they might take a fitting place in the Empire. 
From these two principles no one can turn me. Why am I 
telling you this ? Because it is sometimes said that I can- 
not do justice to both the Cape and this country (Rhodesia), 
as Prime Minister of the one and Managing Director of the 
company controlling the other. I firmly believe I can, 
however, and I shall continue in the dual capacity so long 
as may be possible, for I consider the Cape can be of great 
use to Rhodesia, and Rhodesia of increasing value to the 
Cape, and my best efforts will be directed towards helping 
both.' 

On his return to the south, after a hurried visit to Kim- 
berley, Rhodes sailed for England, where he at once inter- 
viewed the Colonial Office in regard to the administration 
of North-Eastern Rhodesia. He also found time to visit 
Constantinople, interview the Sultan, and, contrary to all 
precedent, obtain permission to export thoroughbred Angora 
goats to South Africa. At this time the British Ambassador 
to Turkey was Sir Philip Currie, and Rhodes had been able 
to arrange the appointment with the Sultan through his 
good offices. The hour fixed was 11 a.m., and the Ambas- 
sador was to meet him at the palace about fifteen minutes 
before that hour. Rhodes turned up in a grey flannel suit, 
and Sir Philip looked aghast. * You cannot possibly meet 
the Sultan like that,' he said ; ' go back and get into your 
frock-coat.' * I have no such coat,' said Rhodes, * this is 
the best I can do, and surely it doesn't matter.' c It does to 
such an extent,' said Sir Philip, ' that you'll never be able 
to see the Sultan dressed as you are.' * I mean to all the 
same,' said Rhodes, and he began to pace up and down the 
room when he suddenly noticed the Ambassador's dark over- 
coat. ' Ah,' he said, * there is the solution ; you are not so 



THE KISING CLOUD 181 

tall as I am it will appear to be a frock-coat on me ' ; and 
pulling off his flannel jacket lie got into the coat, and five 
minutes afterwards was discussing Angoras in the most 
friendly way with the Sultan ! 

Certain officials of the Colonial Office, finding fri at their 
offices generally before ten in the morning, described him as 
* a hustler who is wearing all of us to shadows/ 

On the 1st January, 1895, Rhodes received a further 
honour, and one which pleased Trim greatly. He was 
gazetted a Privy Councillor. 

At this time he again stayed at the Burlington Hotel, 
where he was well known and all his wants and peculiarities 
considered. In spite of a disposition which grew more hasty 
and irritable as the years brought added problems and 
responsibilities, he endeared himself to all those with whom 
he came into contact, by his direct methods and his simple 
human qualities. All London, from the humble coster- 
monger to the great leaders of society, desired to do 
him honour, but he rather flhrsmTr from public attentions, 
preferring to dine quietly with a few old friends most nights, 
and when he had a few spare hours during the day he went 
down to the country home of the Salvation Army with 
General Booth, or to the studio of John Tweed or that of 
John Swan, at each of which he had work going on for the 
Cape and Rhodesia. 

Before leaving England, Rhodes addressed the Chartered 
Company's shareholders in very happy fashion, and in the 
course of his speech, which was received most enthusias- 
tically by a very crowded hall, he said that he expected no 
trouble with the Transvaal. Unfortunately, this was just 
before Kruger celebrated his birthday in Pretoria by those 
ominous words addressed to certain German residents there : 
c I know I may count on the Germans in future, and I hope 
Transvaalers will do their best to foster the friendship which 
exists between them. I feel certain that when the time 
comes for the Republic to wear larger clothes, you (Germany) 
will have done much to bring it about.' 

Almost directly after this, Kruger issued a proclamation 



182 RHODES : A LIFE 

assuming the government of Swaziland, with, the apparent 
object of claiming an outlet to the sea ; but the British 
Government thereupon annexed all Amatongaland and so 
frustrated his idea of a port. 

In May, Sir Hercules Robinson now Lord Rosmead 
took office for the second time as High Commissioner. 
Soon after his arrival he visited the Transvaal and tried by 
means of judicious speeches to make the Dutch realise their 
position and behave as reasonable members of the South 
African family, but with little result. Kruger protested that 
if he yielded over the franchise question, Boer nationality 
would be shifted, and greater burdens than ever were placed 
on the shoulders of the Uitlanders, whose patience at last 
became exhausted. Through the executive of the Reform 
Committee which they had elected they determined to seek 
the co-operation of some of the large mine owners of the 
Rand to obtain their rights as citizens. Of the early diggers 
in Kimberley who had risen to financial power, Beit was as 
usual standing by Rhodes in all his affairs, and they favoured 
this movement. Solly Joel joined them also at the last 
moment, despite the strong disapproval of Barnato. On the 
other hand, J. B. Robinson joined the other side, and used 
his wealth to help President Kruger strike at those whom he 
(Robinson) regarded as his own personal enemies in 
especial Rhodes, for whom he always felt keen hostility. 
It has also been suggested and is not improbable that this 
most astute financier indulged in a desire to succeed Kruger 
as President of the Transvaal. 1 

In supporting the Britishers, Rhodes was guided a great 
deal by Jameson's description of the state of things in 
Johannesburg, but he had refused for a long time to have 
anything to do with the dispute, and when at length he gave 
them his support he must have realised that he was running 
a great risk, since he stood in danger of losing the confidence 
of the Dutch Party, which he had worked so long to gain. 
Characteristically, however, he put aside all personal con- 
siderations, deciding that his influence and his purse used 
1 " Imperialist." 



THE RISING CLOUD 183 

now in a struggle against Kruger would weigh towards the 
peaceful working of the country in after years and hasten 
the advent of the federated States of South Africa. 

In the beginning, the object of the Reform movement was 
simply to secure representative government of the people, 
by the people, for the whole white population of the Trans- 
vaal, if necessary by the display (but only the display) of 
a readiness to appeal to force. Neither Rhodes nor the 
Uitlanders had any intention of interfering with the inde- 
pendence of the Transvaal Republic, and of this there is 
irrefutable documentary evidence. All they desired was a 
fairer form of government and the introduction of a form of 
franchise such as was enjoyed by all the citizens, whether 
Dutch or British, of the Cape Colony, Natal, and the 
Orange Free State. 

A number of Transvaal newspapers for years had declared 
that the Chartered Company coveted the goldfields of the 
Rand, but that Company, though Rhodes agreed to employ 
its forces in the possible contingency of a rising at Johannes- 
burg, had nothing whatever to do with and nothing to gain 
from the Reform movement of Johannesburg. 

For some years Rhodes had felt quite certain that Kruger 
would yield nothing. In 1882 an Uitlander with five years' 
residence in the Transvaal could obtain full rights of citizen- 
ship, but a law was made in 1887 that he could not stand for 
membership of the local parliament unless he was a member 
of the Protestant Church and had possessed the franchise 
for five years. Though willing and eager to exact heavy 
taxes from the mining industry so that his State might 
become wealthy, the President became more determined 
than ever to keep the Uitlanders from having any represen- 
tation in his parliament if it could be prevented, and he had 
no difficulty in getting a new law promulgated in 1889 limit- 
ing the franchise to persons born in the Republic. This 
meant that all comers from every part of South Africa 
outside the Transvaal itself, whether Dutch or British, were 
excluded from citizen rights equally with newcomers from 
Europe, America, and elsewhere. Further to strengthen 



184 KHODES: A LIFE 

the Boer position, tlie age at which, a male could get the vote 
was reduced in 1890 from twenty-one to sixteen years. In 
1892 Kruger interviewed a deputation from the Uitlanders, 
who sought some amelioration of their political position, and 
he replied to their spokesman : Go back and tell your people 
I shall never give them anything. I shall never change my 
policy. And now let the storm burst/ Other retrogressive 
laws were passed in 1893 and 1894, which practically estab- 
lished such a condition of affairs that no Uitlander possess- 
ing any self-respect could much longer be expected to endure 
the position he was being forced into. Then it was that 
Rhodes was urged and begged to take an active part in the 
movement which was taking place among the Uitlanders 
to put an end to Kruger's oligarchy, and knowing well, 
as also did the Imperial Government, that Kruger was 
intriguing with both Germany and Holland against British 
interests, he consented. 



CHAPTEE XVIII 

THE FALL 

1895-1896 

IN the muddle of South African politics in the year 1895, 
only Rhodes and Kruger knew their own minds, and had 
these two men agreed together as Rhodes had always 
wished they could have settled amicably the whole future 
of the country. 

Even before the troubles of the Uitlanders had assumed 
such definite shape, Rhodes's health had begun to cause Trim 
anxiety. Although there was no return of the lung affection 
which had threatened his youth, his heart had become 
seriously affected, and he realised that his life would not be 
a long one. This realisation, together with his stupendous 
energy and the creative force held captive within his brain, 
accounted for a certain imperiousness and impatience which 
now made itself felt. Although his mind was more alert 
than ever, his conduct began to lack the restraint that had 
hitherto characterised it, and, except on rare occasions, the 
boyishness, which had endeared him to so many, disappeared. 

Realising that he might not have much longer in which 
to work for the Empire he was so devoted to for he set the 
probable span of his life at forty-five years he now began 
an attempt to hurry affairs without giving them the con- 
sideration he had allowed to matters of importance in 
previous years, and, not content with working steadily to 
bring about results which he had previously approached in 
a much less hasty spirit, he tried, and at times somewhat 
roughly, to enforce his will on all those who failed quickly 
to adopt his views in connection with his expansion theory. 

185 



186 RHODES : A LIFE 

However, he still liked a man who had courage to say what 
was in his mind regardless of the fact that he was speaking 
to the Cape Premier. In this regard, George Pauling, the 
well-known railway contractor, quotes an amusing incident 
which occurred during the building of the railway from 
Beira to Umtali. The coach which was to convey Rhodes 
and his party, including Dr. Jameson, from Rhodesia arrived 
three days later than had been expected, and apparently the 
delay had affected the temper of the impatient Empire- 
builder, for he proceeded to abuse Lawley, Pauling's 
manager, whom he now met for the first time, in the presence 
of the railway employees, until by a gradual crescendo of 
unparliamentary language he reached the high falsetto tone 
which he employed when much agitated. Lawley, realising 
that without any apparent reason he was being stultified in 
the eyes of his subordinates, invited Mr. Rhodes to say who 
the hell he thought he was, and told hi in a flood of railway 
vernacular that there was no necessity for Mm. to squeal 
like a damned rabbit. The Premier, although obviously 
astonished at this unexpected outburst, asked Lawley a little 
later when he had calmed down, to join him in his compart- 
ment, and expressed regret at the occurrence, telling Lawley 
that he did not very often lose his temper, and saying how 
stupid he had been and asking hrm to shake hands. From 
that day onward they remained the best of friends, and 
during his periodical visits to the railways Rhodes invariably 
accepted Lawley's hospitality, which on various occasions 
was reciprocated at Groote Schuur. 

Rhodes at this time was waiting upon events. He knew 
now that a revolution, the idea of which he never cared for, 
was likely to come about in Johannesburg whether he aided 
it or not, and his only definite plan was to secure a hand in 
the resulting settlement, which he might use in the best way 
he could for Great Britain. If the rising planned by the 
discontented Uitianders was brought to a head, Rhodes felt 
that he must stand with them and help them through 
with it. 

It has been said that the flag question brought about the 



THE FALL 187 



defeat of the Reform movement ; but if Rhodes had any 
cut-and-dried plan for forcing an acceptance of the British 
flag, no one else had realised this, although it is incredible 
that he would have risked so much if he had not hoped and 
imagined that such a result might in the end have been 
arrived at. Rhodes's feeling for his flag has been well 
known ; but he also realised that the Dutch felt as strongly 
for the Vierkleur as did the British for the Union Jack ; and 
if the Transvaal would have worked with him, Rhodes would 
have formulated a scheme whereby the Republics would 
have kept their own flags, while at the same time accepting 
the hegemony in South Africa of the Power which guarded 
the coast and owned the greatest area of territory. 

The Jameson plot, concisely stated, was this : Johannes- 
burg was to formulate an ultimatum. On its being treated 
with contempt, the revolutionary party was to take 
possession of the town, declare itself the provisional govern- 
ment of the country, and the same night pay a surprise 
visit to Pretoria, seize the State arsenal and the seat of 
government, and issue an appeal to South Africa and the 
world, proposing to submit its acts and grievances and the 
future of the country to the vote of the entire white popu- 
lation of the Transvaal. It was calculated that, with proper 
organisation, this might be accomplished almost without 
firing a shot. The moment uproar began and life and pro- 
perty were in danger, a reasonable excuse would be created 
for the intervention of any organised British force, which 
was within two days' striking distance. The exact method 
and moment of such action were never clearly fixed, but the 
idea was that Jameson would be there ; that Jameson always 
carried things through. 

At such a juncture civil war might of course be imminent ; 
but there would come Rhodes's part. From his Premiership 
he was to fling all his official and unofficial advantages into 
the scale. His personality was trusted to make the Govern- 
ment weather the storm long enough for hi to advise the 
High Commissioner to proceed at once to the Transvaal as 
mediator, possibly accompanied by Rhodes himself. Upon 



188 RHODES : A LIFE 

such an uncertain hazard was now staked the brilliant and 
promising career of Rhodes, and also the future actuality of 
many of his great dreams ; for Jameson's action in attack- 
ing the Transvaal was undoubtedly the worst day's work 
ever done for Rhodesia. It created an atmosphere of 
suspicion against the Chartered Company which though 
quite unjustified hung round it for years, and was never 
wholly dispelled. l 

Although nobody could be surprised if Cecil Rhodes, the 
private individual and the builder of Empire, saw to it that 
dissatisfied folk in Johannesburg were provided with money 
and arms in case of eventualities, it was quite another matter 
for Rhodes, the Premier of Cape Colony and the managing 
director of the Chartered Company, to do this. Such a 
public personage could not rightly interfere with the internal 
policy of a friendly State, except on behalf of his colony or 
Rhodesia. In this unfortunate affair Rhodes placed himself 
throughout in a false position. e As a private individual, he 
proposed to buy and smuggle into the Transvaal arms, which 
his duty as Prime Minister should have urged hi to prevent ; ' 2 
while it was only his authority as Managing Director of the 
Company which enabled him to place on the border of the 
Transvaal a force which it was intended should later invade 
that country. Without his official position he could not 
have done what he did, however strongly convinced of the 
rightness of the cause. Rhodes armed beforehand the men 
who were to bring about the revolution which was planned, 
and which in due course formed the pretext of Jameson's 
action. 

After a good deal of difficulty with the Imperial authori- 
ties, Rhodes had purchased ostensibly for railway con- 
struction a strip of the Bechuanaland Protectorate which 
would be used for the gathering of Jameson's force. In 
order "adequately to protect the construction parties,' 
Chamberlain who had then been Colonial Secretary only 
for a few months gave permission for a force to be recruited 
from the disbanded Imperial Police ; some of the Mashona- 
1 Marshall Hole. * Williams. 



THE FALL 189 



land Mounted Police were brought down, and a few other 
untrained men joined, until the whole formed a force of 
some eight hundred men, keen and courageous, but utterly 
inadequate for what they were expected to accomplish. 

The Johannesburg leaders wanted two things to weigh 
towards the success of their movement. They wanted arms, 
and they wanted enthusiasm ; and although Rhodes sup- 
plied the first, his brother, Colonel Frank Rhodes, who took 
command in Johannesburg, and the other Reform leaders 
were powerless to supply the second ; for as the date which 
had been arranged for action drew nearer, the leaders in 
Johannesburg began to realise that the heaviest part of 
their work remained to be done, since it was difficult, if not 
impossible, to inspire their followers to the white-heat point 
of revolt when they could not take those followers into their 
confidence. 

It was agreed that Jameson should move in response to a 
written appeal prepared beforehand. To this end, during 
his visit to Johannesburg, though it seems almost incredible, 
he persuaded Charles Leonard President of the National 
Union to sit down at a table with pen, ink, and paper and 
describe events which had not happened and which very 
probably never would happen, in an undated letter of 
invitation, from which the following extracts are given l : 

* Not to go into details, we may say that the Government 
has called into existence all the elements necessary for armed 
conflict. The one desire of the people here is for fair play, 
the maintenance of their independence, and the preservation 
of these public liberties without which life is not worth living. 
The Government denies these things and violates the national 
sense of Englishmen at every turn. 

* What we have to consider is, what will be the condition 
of things here in the event of a conflict ? Thousands of 
unarmed men, women and children of our race will be at 
the mercy of well-armed Boers, while property of enormous 
value will be in the greatest peril. We cannot contemplate 
the future without the gravest apprehensions. All feel 

1 Colvin. 



190 RHODES : A LIFE 

that we are justified in taking any steps to prevent the 
shedding of blood and to ensure the protection of our 
rights. 

' It is under these circumstances that we feel constrained 
to call upon you to come to our aid, should a disturbance 
arise here. The circumstances are so extreme that we cannot 
but believe that you and the men under you will not fail to 
come to the rescue of people who will be so situated. We 
guarantee any expense that may reasonably be incurred by 
you in helping us, and ask you to believe that nothing but 
the sternest necessity,' etc. 

Although the next day Leonard realised the enormity of 
his folly, and asked for the letter back, he was then told that 
it had been despatched to Cape Town. The extraordinary 
thing in regard to the whole plot was the open way in which 
compromising letters and telegrams were sent, received, 
filed and docketed, so that when the end came there was never 
the slightest difficulty in apportioning the blame except in 
the highest quarters. 

The plot to seize the arsenal at Pretoria failed owing to 
the large number of burghers gathered there to celebrate 
' Nachtmaal,' and this, added to the inadequate supply of 
arms and ammunition served out in Johannesburg, necessi- 
tated the postponement of the rising, even had the Reform 
leaders not been divided among themselves and grown over- 
anxious in regard to the adventure upon which they had at 
one time been so anxious to embark. 

By this time the news of what was planned and the 
possible intentions of Jameson's force had begun to leak 
out. They were talked of in London, rumoured in Maf eking, 
and openly discussed at Pretoria. 

Early in December Rhodes began to realise that all idea 
of a revolution in Johannesburg had better be dropped, and 
to Jameson, in the presence of a friend, he said, ' I am sure 
the right thing is to give up the scheme,' but Jameson's 
previous successes had rather turned his head, and he pro- 
tested that Johannesburg was both ripe and clamouring 
for it, and so positive was he in regard to this that he 



THE FALL 191 



over-persuaded both his hearers, and Rhodes yielded to his 
protestations though with very considerable misgivings. 

Later in the month Leonard went to confer with Rhodes 
at Cape Town on various troubles that had arisen, and the 
latter at once realised that whatever might be the case later, 
the time was certainly not then ripe for revolution. It is 
clear that Rhodes still hoped to obtain the necessary reforms 
by peaceful negotiation, without the necessity of fighting for 
them ; and the High Commissioner himself telegraphed to 
Mr. Chamberlain that the anticipated revolution had fizzled 
out like a damp squib. 

Difficulties had arisen in Johannesburg in regard to the 
flag. One party wanted the British flag, others wanted their 
civil rights only, being satisfied with the Transvaal flag. To 
this Rhodes said : ' I considered it was immaterial, for this 
reason : The people must decide in future what change they 
will make. They are now really desiring a change to obtain 
civil rights. On that my suggestion was that they should 
agree to have a plebiscite of the people as to what shall be 
the future government. I knew one of two things would 
happen : they would either have a plebiscite and vote for 
union with the rest of Africa that would be a change of 
flag or they would do the following, which perhaps has not 
struck anyone : My whole idea was federal union, and I 
thought it was quite possible the Republic would remain a 
Republic, so far as its local matters were concerned, but 
that the federal union, dealing with railways, tariff systems 
and defence, and those questions that are called federal, 
would be in an assembly that must be under the British 
flag, because England represents the majority of the States 
that are in South Africa, or the majority of the people in 
South Africa. So I thought it was better to leave this 
question of the flag to the judgment of the people, the whole 
case being that the system of governing by a small minority 
possessing neither the wealth nor the intelligence of the 
country must be changed, and then it must be left to the 
people as to their future. I admit I knew what was going 
to happen. Either they would vote for a union of Africa 



192 RHODES : A LIFE 

there and then, or they might vote, as I said before, for 
retaining the Republic for local matters, but for the federal 
assembly accepting the English flag/ This flag trouble gave 
Rhodes personally no difficulty, probably he was relieved as 
it was likely to create some further delay, and it is certain 
that he desired this, for so great a thinker must have had 
many anxious moments before taking a course which risked 
the future of his whole career and of his life's policy. He 
must have realised that success could be the only possible 
justification for him, and he therefore pointed out to Leonard 
that delay could do no harm and very possibly would do 
good. 

* Try peaceful methods first,' said Rhodes. c I can keep 
Jameson on the frontier six months or nine months it 
matters not how long till your plans and your armament 
are completed, and your action will have a reasonable chance 
of success/ Accepting this advice, Leonard assured him 
that the proposed rising would be given up for the time 
being. Rhodes, satisfied with the way things had gone, had 
telegraphed this result to Jameson. 

The Uitlanders also sent word to him to the same effect, 
adding that the whole thing was postponed for a time, and 
that he was to make no forward move whatsoever until he 
received word from them. 

Jameson, however, was now in no mood to listen to reason, 
and refused to wait indefinitely upon the border. He knew 
the Boers were planning a determined resistance ; his own 
men were growing uneasy ; and he realised that if he did 
not move at once he would not be able to move at all, and 
all hope of bringing off the brilliant military coup he had 
planned would vanish. 

At this time his telegrams to Rhodes were indicative of 
his growing impatience. On the 28th December he wired, 
* Unless I hear definitely to the contrary shall leave to- 
morrow for the Transvaal. 9 Rhodes replied, * You must 
do nothing till all is clear.' On the 29th, without any 
qualifying comment, he telegraphed, 'Shall leave for 
Transvaal to-night.' 




DR. JAMESON, SIR JOHN WILLOUGHBY, DR. H. SAUER 
At Bulawayo in 1895. 



To face page 192*. 



THE FALL 193 



By an evil chance the second of these telegrams was 
heavily delayed. The Premier at once replied, ' Things in 
Johannesburg I yet hope to see amicably settled, and a little 
patience and common sense are only necessary. On no 
account whatever must you move. I most strongly object 
to such a course/ But this telegram from his chief, which 
surely would have stopped Jameson, never reached him, since 
by that time he had decided to move forward, and had already 
cut the telegraph wires, having reassured his lieutenants 
somewhat vaguely of the Imperial authorities' goodwill 
toward the scheme. 

But although the telegraph wire to Cape Town was effec- 
tively put out of action, the trooper told off to cut the line 
to Pretoria was too drunk to carry out his orders, and thus 
President Kruger was kept well informed of the progress of 
the little army. 

In addition to the wires he had sent direct to Jameson, 
Rhodes had seen to it that peremptory messages were sent 
to him from Johannesburg forbidding him to move, and 
two well-known officers were specially selected to go to him 
at Pitsani informing hi that on no account was he to cross 
the border. These two men, Captain Holden and Major 
Heany, were sent by different routes and both reached 
Jameson before he had moved. To Heany, who gave me 
the conversation, he said, c Rhodes has evidently got cold 
feet along with his Johannesburg friends, but I'm starting 
in two hours, Heany, but you needn't come with me.' To 
that Heany replied, Well, Doctor, if you are going, I go 
with you, but neither Rhodes nor the Johannesburg Com- 
mittee wish you to move. They fear this inroad of an 
armed force in the Transvaal will never be condoned by the 
Imperial Government and you will do Rhodes incalculable 
harm.' To which Jameson replied, 'Not if I succeed in 
reaching Johannesburg, as Johnnie (WUloughby) and I mean 
to do.' 

Jameson addressed the force at Pitsani, read extracts from 
the famous undated letter, and started off for Johannesburg, 
accompanied by Sir John Willoughby, Colonel Raleigh Grey, 

M.C.B. H 



194 RHODES : A LIFE 

Major the Hon. Robert White, several more young men 
who had originally been in the army and were now in search 
of adventure in Rhodesia, and a troop of eight hundred men. 
The fact that most of these military gentlemen officering the 
column were young and unseasoned in actual warfare must 
be the reason that Jameson, in spite of his almost total 
inexperience and lack of any army training, secured the 
great ascendancy he did over them, by means of which the 
command of the column even in regard to the carrying out 
of actual military tactics seems to have been entirely in 
his own hands. 

Like many civilians, Jameson could in no way appreciate 
the difficulties of controlling a military action, and in the 
precipitous haste with which he now moved forward without 
support, encouragement or orders, he was undoubtedly 
influenced by his astounding success in the Matabele War 
and also by incidents in the life of Olive, which he had closely 
studied in earlier years and re-read again before leaving 
Rhodesia. 

In this game of warfare he was the veriest amateur. Like 
the tyro at golf, who in his first effort makes a brilliant drive 
and goes away convinced that he has mastered the whole 
science of the game, Jameson failed to appreciate that his 
triumph in the Matabele campaign had been a gigantic stroke 
of luck, assisted to some extent by the awe in which he was 
held by the natives. But the result of this achievement was 
almost to persuade hi that irrespective of any army 
training he possessed military genius and was further 
capable of leading troops in the field. Seldom can a civilian 
have had such overweening self-confidenoe or the oppor- 
tunity of placing "himself in a position of such authority that 
he was able to risk the lives of men who were merely pawns 
in his unskilled hands. Moreover, he undervalued the 
fighting power of the Boers, of which people he had no real 
knowledge. He even grew to regard himself as the principal 
in a venture supposed to be controlled by the persecuted 
Uitlanders. 

In his defence, however, it must be remembered that 



THE FALL 195 



Rhodes never gave Ms lieutenants explicit orders. He 
trusted them to do the best they could under whatever 
circumstances arose ; and Jameson knew that Rhodes never 
queried a success by whatever means obtained. 

The letter of invitation now dated December 28th was 
sent to England and printed in the Times, doing very much 
more harm than good, and complicating still more what had 
never been a straight issue. 

At Cape Town Rhodes was left in a state of terrible 
indecision. He believed that his telegram would stop 
Jameson moving across the border, but he had no means 
of knowing if it had reached him. And there were the two 
special messengers, one of whom at least was sure to have 
got through. Thank God, he thought, the madness has been 
stopped. If Jameson had gone, however, he now knew that 
he himself was ruined. A raid as a sequel to a rising might 
be satisfactorily defended ; but a raid through a friendly 
country on a peaceful town was something quite impossible 
to explain especially if it failed. Not only would it be a 
case of the ruin of his position as Prime Minister, but of his 
whole life-work towards the federation of South Africa, which 
work was founded upon his policy of co-operation between 
British and Dutch. But, thank God again, he had been able 
to have a little time for calm reflection and had realised then, 
but by what a small margin, how mad the whole thing was 
and how vain its purpose. He had been nerve-racked for 
months, but now he could get back to the work his heart 
was in the development of the North. There were other 
and perhaps better ways of circumventing the German pene- 
tration. Yes, thank God that efficient steps had been taken 
to keep Jameson on the right side of the frontier. A load 
was lifted from his mind, and for the first time in weeks he 
felt happy. 

At this moment the High Commissioner, hearing from 
Mafeking and Pretoria that Jameson had actually started, 
was most anxious to get into touch with Rhodes ; but the 
Premier, who had received the bad news simultaneously, 
driven almost to desperation by the shock of it and by his 



196 RHODES : A LIFE 

uncertainty over Jameson's movements, was not to be found. 
It has been said that he went off and wandered over the 
mountain side and was inaccessible to everyone. The truth 
is that the terrific shock had brought about one of the worst 
heart attacks Khodes ever had, and but for the devoted 
service of his white butler, W. E. Norris, and his personal 
attendant, Tony, it is doubtful if he would ever have sur- 
vived that night. Unknown at the time to himself, Norris 
and Tony, with two native servants, kept his life going by 
their skilful attentions. 

Late next day he heard that Mr. Hofmeyr had called upon 
the High Commissioner urging the issue of a proclamation 
publicly repudiating Jameson's action on behalf of Her 
Majesty's Government. Then Rhodes pulled himself up 
and pressed his views on the High Commissioner, urging 
that publication should be delayed, since such a course 
would outlaw Jameson. The High Commissioner, however, 
favoured Hofmeyr's resolution, and a copy of the proclama- 
tion drafted by that statesman was telegraphed the same 
afternoon to the acting President of the Orange Eree State 
and to Her Majesty's agent at Pretoria. 

Rhodes now offered the High Commissioner his resignation 
as Premier, which for the time was not accepted, since Sir 
Hercules knew he would have to go to Pretoria to confer 
with the President and could not leave the Cape under no 
government. 

Sir Hercules then read to Rhodes the following message 
he had that day received from Mr. Chamberlain : 

c You should represent to Mr. Rhodes the true character 
of Dr. Jameson's action in breaking into a foreign State, 
which is in friendly treaty relations with Her Majesty, in 
time of peace. It is an act of war, or rather of filibustering. 
If the Government of the South African Republic had been 
overthrown, or had there been anarchy at Johannesburg, 
there might have been some shadow of excuse for this un- 
precedented act. If it can be proved that the British South 
Africa Company set Dr. Jameson in motion, or were privy to 
his marauding action, Her Majesty's Government would at 



THE FALL 197 



once have to face a demand that the charter should be 
revoked and the Corporation dissolved/ l 

Sir Hercules, who was a firm believer in Rhodes, was 
urgent that he should make a public disavowal of all com- 
plicity with Jameson ; but to all such advances, whether 
from the High Commissioner or from Mr. Hofmeyr, or from 
cabinet colleagues, he was sullenly impenetrable ; only 
cabling to his fellow-directors of the Chartered Company : 
* Jameson has gone in without my orders ' which repre- 
sented the utmost point of repudiation to which he would 
go to save either himself or his cherished company. 

When Mr. Schreiner Rhodes's friend as well as political 
ally called to see him, hardly able to believe that the 
Premier of Cape Colony had known and countenanced 
Jameson's action, he found Rhodes almost broken by anxiety 
over Jameson and by the necessity of doing nothing which 
might make the situation worse for his friend. * Poor old 
Jameson,' said Rhodes, ' twenty years we have been friends 
and now he goes in and ruins me/ 2 

Since Jameson started no news had reached Johannesburg 
of his progress, although from different points he had sent 
in two messengers asking that someone should be sent out 
to guide him in. 

Every arrangement on the forward march of this civilian- 
commanded column was unfortunate. Pood for horses and 
men, which had been placed in reserve camps along the 
route, was either inadequate or not efficiently distributed ; 
the halts were too many and of too short duration to rest 
sufficiently either men or horses ; while the remounts which 
had been arranged for failed to materialise or were quite 
unsuited for the purpose. 

By the time they neared Johannesburg this wholly in- 
experienced force was worn out and hungry. They were 
not met by the expected supporting party ; and when at last 
they were led by an untrustworthy guide into the encircling 
Boer commandoes at Doornkop, both men and horses were 
in a bad way. An attempted charge on a Boer position had 
i Edmund Garrett : Story of an African Crisis. " Imperialist." 



198 RHODES: A LIFE 

cost thirty out of fifty troopers, and the whole force was now 
quite without shelter on open ground in range of the Boer 
Krupp guns and rifle fire on three sides. There was nothing 
for it, therefore, but surrender. Jameson's reputation as a 
military genius had crashed, but his pluck did not leave him, 
and it was with genuine dismay that he saw someone hoist 
a white flag without any order to that effect. On the morn- 
ing of January 1st the little force surrendered to General 
Cronje and laid down their arms in return for their lives. 

While these events were taking place, President Kruger 
must have been distinctly uneasy, for the story goes that 
his old horse was standing ready saddled throughout the 
day, though it was years since he had ridden. As soon as 
he knew that Jameson's march was arrested, his first thought 
was the disarming of Johannesburg, and to this end he sent 
a mission to negotiate with the Eeform leaders. 

These gentlemen, on discovering that Kruger knew of the 
whole plot, and in view of the fact that Jameson had started 
in face of their rather late though none the less direct 
instructions, then made a truce with the Government while 
Jameson was actually moving to their aid, thus placing him 
in the uncomfortable position of someone attempting to 
rescue a friend quite determined to be drowned. 

On receipt of a second note, which suggested that Jameson 
needed help, Colonel Frank Rhodes on his own responsibility 
sent out a small force under Colonel Bettington to meet him, 
but this force failed to connect with Jameson. Had it done 
so the trend of events might have been very considerably 
altered. In any case few people realise how very nearly the 
Jameson Raid came to fulfilling its purpose, and by how 
small a margin defeat was separated from victory. 

When at last the news of the surrender was published in 
Johannesburg it was not at first believed, but when the 
Uitlanders realised the truth that Jameson had been 
ignominiously defeated, that many of his men had been 
killed and wounded within a few miles of Johannesburg, 
while none of those whose grievances he had aimed to remedy 
had moved a finger to help a tremendous bitterness swept 



THE FALL 199 



over the city and the Reform leaders were threatened by a 
crowd of angry resolute men, who felt strongly that these 
leaders should have stopped Jameson before making a truce 
with the Government they had wished Mm to help them 
overthrow. To be fair, however, they were not then aware 
how desperately the Reform Committee had striven to stop 
any movement on the part of Jameson. 

In the circumstances Colonel rrank Rhodes now in a 
serious position for an officer of the Imperial forces ad- 
dressed the crowd as the frank, straightforward soldier that 
he was. He said ' he felt sure they would believe him that 
if anything could have been done it would have been done ; 
that it was only at the last moment Jameson was known 
to be in the position he was ; that it was thought that with 
the force Jameson had he would have come in without the 
slightest difficulty. But if they thought that he (Colonel 
Rhodes) had behaved like a cur, he was prepared to take the 
penalty of their resentment. The moment he heard the 
news of the Jameson disaster was the bitterest of his life. 
Dr. Jameson and his men had been promised safety.' 1 

Although the crowd possessing now no definite leader 
took no action, the whole of Johannesburg united in applaud- 
ing Jameson and belittling their former leaders. The papers 
lionised the Doctor, even those controlled by a certain finan- 
cier, but the editor and the staff of these latter were somewhat 
hastily dismissed by a cable immediately this was read by 
the incensed owner in London ! President Kruger asserted 
that all the would-be revolutionaries, save Colonel Rhodes, 
were nothing but a lot of theatrical talkers who had no 
knowledge of how to bring about a revolution and shrank 
from facing the issue when Jameson forced the pace. This 
was not altogether the case, but there was no cohesion among 
them, and the leaders were quite unfitted for the position 
they found themselves in. 

At this time, when Rhodes's fortune seemed at the lowest 
ebb ; when all, except the loyal few, were turning from Mm 
in disgust, the Germans yet again interposed, and by their 

1 Garrett. 



200 RHODES: A LIFE 

intervention unconsciously did much to turn the tide of 
public opinion back towards the fallen leader. It was 
universally conceded that at least Rhodes had always 
fought against German influence and German power in Africa. 
Now, at the moment when the world thought him crushed 
and his influence shattered, the German Emperor sent the 
following ill-advised message to Kruger : e I tender you my 
sincere congratulations that, without appealing to the help 
of friendly Powers, you and your people have been successful 
in opposing with your own force the armed bands that have 
broken into your country to disturb the peace ; in restoring 
order and in maintaining the independence of your country 
against attacks from without. Signed : Wilhelm I. E.' 

Just as members of a family may quarrel among them- 
selves but will unite against any outsider, so all those who 
loved England burst into a flame of resentment on reading 
this telegram, which the President was sufficiently ill-advised 
to publish. Even Hofmeyr wrote: 'Allow me to say 
publicly what I have repeatedly stated to friends privately, 
ever since Kaiser Wilhelm's blundering comments on recent 
South African occurrences no one knows better than His 
Imperial Majesty that the first German shot fired against . 
England would be followed by a combined attack on Das 
Vaterland and by the acquisition by England of all German 
colonies, Damaraland included, which would not be an 
unmixed blessing for the Cape.' 

Still the Kaiser was not dismayed, but requested Portugal 
to give him leave to land marines at Delagoa Bay ' to guard 
German Consulates in the Transvaal,' which request was 
refused. But these unfriendly actions had swung the 
pendulum of public opinion back toward that great if 
on this occasion mistaken brain which has kept South 
and Central Africa secure for the Empire. 

Jameson and his officers, without being allowed speech 
with anyone, were imprisoned at Pretoria ; and neither the 
Reform leaders nof anyone else knew that on his surrender 
the Boer general had promised to spare Jameson's life and that 
of those with him. When Sir Hercules Robinson hurried to 



THE FALL 201 



Pretoria to confer with Kruger, the wily old President begged 
him to persuade the Reformers in Johannesburg to disarm, 
urging that only upon this condition might the life of Jame- 
son be spared. Not for some time, not until the whole of 
Johannesburg had reluctantly laid down its arms, was the 
fact that Jameson's life had been in no real danger from the 
moment of his surrender, allowed to leak out. 

Meanwhile Rhodes, still disguising his illness, had remained 
shut up at Groote Schuur, and for the time being was able 
to see only his secretary and Stevens. His attendants, prob- 
ably through ignorance, said to all inquirers, ' He is not in,* 
and it was generally believed that he had gone wandering 
up Table Mountain to face alone for the time being the ghastly 
position that had arisei}. Later, when he heard that none 
of the Johannesburg people had gone out to meet Jameson, 
he only said, e The Johannesburg people are not cowards. 
They were rushed.' 

His secretary Jourdan writes : * At this time I do not 
think he slept a wink for five nights. Tony, his personal 
servant, told me that he walked up and down his bedroom 
at all times of the night.' 

On the representations of Sir Hercules Robinson, Jameson 
and his officers were turned over to the Imperial authorities 
to be dealt with by them, and voyaged to England in a 
troopship to await their trial. Meanwhile Earl Grey re- 
placed Jameson as Administrator of Rhodesia. 

The Reform leaders, who had not fired a shot, were im- 
prisoned by Kruger's Government and condemned to death, 
but their sentences were afterwards commuted to very heavy 
fines. 

Around Cape Town there lurked a mist of distrust and 
disappointment. Schreiner and his mother remained in- 
tensely loyal. The former wrote : * Whatever you suffer, and 
whatever you seem to have lost or to be losing, don't let 
them induce you to do anything small. You must go on 
living your life on big lines. Rest and wait.' l While old 
Mrs. Schreiner, of whom he was very fond, wrote from 

iMichelL 



202 EHODES : A LIFE 

Grahamstown," evidently in reply to a letter Rhodes must 
have written her : ' Surely my guardian angel prompted 
you to write to me. . . . The words have been, as you said 
they would be, pleasant and helpful in these dark days. So 
too are words just to hand from my dear son, Will. He 
writes : " I know how you value the friendship between me 
and dear old Rhodes. For your comfort let me assure you 
that political severance does not and will not impair my 
respect for him." I thank God for these words.' 

A small band of others remained equally loyal, but many 
friends even those who had known Rhodes for the whole 
of his political life were undecided and plainly showed their 
indecision. Merriman that still older friend of Kimberley 
days referred to the c deceit and treachery of the Raid . . . 
for which we have to thank Mr. Rhodes. I do say Mr. 
Rhodes is unworthy of the trust of the country. ' 1 At a 
later date, however, Merriman modified this remark. 

By this time the Premier's resignation had been accepted, 
and Sir Gordon Sprigg formed a new ministry. Hofmeyr, 
who in spite of early prejudices had worked in friendship 
with Rhodes for many years, regarded the action of Jameson 
as a clear proof that Briton and Boer could never work 
together. * If Rhodes is behind this/ he said, ' he is no 
more a friend of mine. 5 

Most searching inquiries at the time and frequently since 
have resulted in fully acquitting Rhodes of initiating the 
revolutionary proposals in Johannesburg. In fact it can 
safely be said that he never approved of them, but his strong 
desire to bring about federation in South Africa finally 
induced him to join the Reform Party, and once he had done 
so he spared neither his brain nor his pocket in doing all he 
could to help it. His statement to the Select Committee of 
the House of Commons in 1897 sets out very clearly and 
briefly the reasons for his action. In that he said : ' From 
the date of the establishment of the gold industry at Johan- 
nesburg much discontent has been caused by the restrictions 
and impositions placed upon it by the Transvaal Govern- 

1 Williams. 



THE FAJ.L 203 



ment, by the corrupt administration of that Government, 
and by the denial of civil rights to the rapidly growing 
Uitlander population. This discontent has gradually but 
steadily increased, and a considerable time ago I learnt 
from my intercourse with many of the leading persons in 
Johannesburg that the position of affairs there had become 
intolerable. After long efforts they despaired of obtaining 
redress by constitutional means, and were resolved to seek, 
by extra constitutional means, such a change in the govern- 
ment of the South African Kepublic as should give to the 
majority of the population possessing more than half the land, 
nine-tenths of the wealth, and paying nineteen-twentieths 
of the taxes in the country, a due share in its administra- 
tion. I sympathised with and, as one largely interested 
in the Transvaal, shared in these grievances ; and further, 
as a citizen of the Cape Colony I felt that the persistently 
unfriendly attitude of the Government of the South African 
Republic towards the colony was the great obstacle to com- 
mon action for practical purposes among the various States 
of South Africa. Under these circumstances I assisted the 
movement in Johannesburg with my purse and influence. . . . 
I must admit that in all my actions I was greatly influenced 
by my belief that the policy of the present Government of 
the South African Republic was to introduce the action of 
another foreign Power into the already complicated system 
of South Africa, and thereby render more difficult in the 
future the closer union of the different States.' This extract 
from the Blue Book published by the Select Committee on 
the matter has, after mature consideration on the part of 
everyone who has fully investigated the unhappy business, 
become generally accepted as entirely accurate, but for a 
long time after the Raid opinion as to Rhodes's responsibility 
for the whole thing was greatly divided. 

As for Rhodes, he took his disappointment in utter and 
brooding silence for a time. Then he began to think out 
how he could rehabilitate himself in the eyes of South Africa 
and the rest of the Empire ; and decided he must at once 
return to the strenuous life he had set himself, if with 



204 RHODES : A LIFE 

lessened physical force then with redoubled strength of will, 
and he set to his work again. Surely never in the world's 
history has there been a greater lesson in how to take a 
knock-down blow and how to get up again. c Now that I 
am down/ said he, possibly helped by the philosophy of 
Marcus Aurelius, *I shall see who are my real friends,' 
adding, with a determined shake of those loose shoulders, 
' For the time being my chief work shall be the opening up 
of the north.' 



CHAPTEE XIX 

COURAGE 
1896-1897 

AFTER a lapse of years it is easy to see that silence on all 
events snrrounding the Jameson Raid was Rhodes's only 
possible policy, although at the time it was felt by many 
that he should at least have defended himself from adverse 
criticism. e I ought to have known better/ he said to me 
one day ; c I should have discountenanced the idea from the 
very first, but I was in too great a hurry to secure federation 
and forgot what I had learnt in the diamond fields that 
short cuts never lead to success, the only roads leading to 
that being generally hard and steep and often full of 
pitfalls/ 

So soon as he had taken his brief breathing space he was 
at work again and with redoubled energy. Time was short. 
There was so much to do. This unfortunate affair of Jameson, 
for which he had uttered no word of censure, had put back 
the realisation of his dreams for years, if it had not actually 
made that realisation impossible. But this he would not 
own. He was determined that he would put himself right 
with the Dutch, with the Cape Colonists, and above all with 
the people of his own country. If at this time Rhodes ever 
felt that he was shouldering an impossible burden, he gave 
no indication of it by words or actions, even to his closest 
friends. 

Leaving the disappointment and the bitterness to wear 
itself out in Cape Town, he paid a flying visit to Kimberley, 
where he was much heartened by seeing a number of Dutch 
faces among the British who were at the station to welcome 

205 



206 RHODES : A LIFE 

him, and to show that though they might blame him they 
also realised that he was still the great man of South Africa, 
the one man to whom the country looked to weave together 
firmly the tangled threads of Empire in the future. In a 
short speech made at the railway station he said : ' People 
get to know who are their real friends in times of adversity, 
and it makes me proud to know you continue to trust me. 
I believe I shall still do useful work for South Africa.' 

On the 15th January, 1896, he left for England, where he 
faced a meeting of the Chartered Company, and also talked 
with Mr. Chamberlain at the Foreign Office. He found his 
directors well disposed towards him, and the Colonial Secre- 
tary not in a mood to insist on the immediate revocation of 
the Charter, which had been Rhodes's greatest fear. One 
thing, however, the Colonial Office did insist on was that 
an Imperial officer should be appointed, ' who would have 
the command of the military and police forces in Rhodesia 
and would be the " border authority " so that the power of 
the company or any of its members to make another armed 
incursion into an alien territory would no longer exist.' 1 
A further question was now raised as to the appointing 
of a British Resident in Rhodesia; but Rhodes declared 
bluntly there was no necessity for such a step, and to this 
Mr. Chamberlain after a while agreed. 

Rhodes further urged that there might be no need for 
the proposed parliamentary inquiry into the circumstances 
under which the Raid took place ; but here Mr. Chamberlain 
felt bound to act in accordance with the wishes of the House 
of Commons. 

Before leaving London in February 1896, Rhodes placed 
his resignation from the Board of the Chartered Company 
in the hands of his solicitors with directions that it should 
be delivered to the directors. Realising, however, the value 
of Rhodes's great mind in the direction of what was, after 
all, a company of his own inception, they refused to accept 
this until the following July. 

As soon as the necessary interviews were ended and almost 
1 Hensman. 



COURAGE 207 



before the British Press had grasped the fact of his arrival, 
Rhodes left again for Rhodesia, where serious troubles had 
arisen which only he could solve. 

Signs of discontent caused by the Raid began to show 
themselves in that country in February, and among the 
natives who had heard that the Boers had captured Jameson 
and all his soldiers it was said that now the white men's rule 
might easily be overthrown. 

At almost the same time, that dread cattle disease, rinder- 
pest, swept south across the Zambesi, carried, it is said, by a 
trader's oxen which infected all other cattle with which they 
came in contact, the disease spreading with the rapidity of a 
conflagration. To the natives their cattle are their most sacred 
possession ; and when hundreds of animals were struck down 
by this new scourge, while others on the orders of inex- 
perienced veterinary surgeons were killed, it is small wonder 
that the natives became bitter against the white men. For 
some time the settlers were too much occupied trying to stay 
the advances of the rinderpest to foresee any other calamity, 
and though there were reports of one or two murders of 
prospectors in parts of the country distant from any settle- 
ment, it was not until March that any united action was taken 
or that the Chartered Company's officials realised they were 
actually faced by an organised native rebellion. Suddenly, 
there was a wholesale massacre of men, women, and 
children scattered over the country on isolated farms and 
mines before the colonists had time to gather together, 
secure arms, and defend themselves effectively. 

Rhodes, accompanied by Sir Charles Metcalfe, was at this 
time on his way up from Beira. Appalled by the traces of 
rinderpest passed on the road, he reached Salisbury to face 
the infinitely more serious news of disaffection among the 
natives ; but with his usual promptness he had a supply of 
arms and ammunition hurried to Gwelo, guarded by a little 
force of volunteers. A stronger relief column of 150 white 
troops also started, accompanied by Rhodes, who, although 
scarcely convalescent after an attack of malarial fever con- 
tracted on the way up from Beira, faced the fatigues of the 



208 RHODES : A LIFE 

long march and was actually present at all the fighting which 
took place on the road to Bulawayo. 

Rhodes was determined that the rebellion should be 
crushed if possible by forces employed by the Company and 
acting under his direction. He knew the expenses incurred 
by the campaign would be sufficiently heavy for the Char- 
tered Company to shoulder without the addition of main- 
taining regular troops in the field. For this reason, although 
the Imperial authorities offered to supplement the voluntary 
forces already engaged by regular troops, Rhodes, backed 
up by Earl Grey now Administrator in succession to 
Jameson drew attention to the difficulty of maintaining 
extensive transport supplies and urged that the reinforce- 
ments should wait at Mafeking until their support was 
actually needed. This suggestion was agreed to. The Home 
Government now insisted that the command of the campaign 
' must be placed in the hands of a General Officer on full 
pay/ and Major General Sir Frederick Carrington was 
appointed. 

All this time Rhodes had been frequently in action. He 
was present in the fighting near Gwelo and also at Shiloh and 
Thabas-i-Mamba, and his extreme coolness under the hottest 
fire, coupled with the recklessness with which he would ride 
in advance of the column, was remarked by all his com- 
panions, and proved, had it been necessary, that his 
physical bravery equalled the extraordinary moral courage 
he had so often shown. 

Major Tyrie Laing, who commanded the Belingwe 
column, received a characteristic letter from Rhodes re- 
lating to hostilities and indicative of that grasp of detail 
which characterised all his schemes. 

NEAR RIXON'S STORE, 

25th May, 1896. 
MY DEAR LADTG, 

We got your despatch all right from Gwelo and we 
accepted all your suggestions. We instructed Victoria to 
send you runners telling you to go down and meet the Tuli 



COURAGE 209 



column and bring it to your place, you taking command. 
In case the runners did not reach you we instructed the Tuli 
column to go via the Gondoque Road to you, and when it 
reached you, you to take command. It had instructions to 
detach some meal and some necessaries to Victoria with an 
escort. Its strength was about 150 mounted men with six- 
teen mule waggons. These would reach you, less the escort 
and waggons with meal for Victoria. Your instructions are 
to do what you think best, to assume the defensive, and do 
the most harm you can to the natives around you. If after 
doing that you think the best plan is to work up in the 
direction of Filabusi and Bembesi do so, but these matters 
are left to your judgment. We have every confidence in 
you and do not want to tie you in any direction. 

Grey, who brings this, will tell you all the news. The 
only thing that you must bear in mind is that you take 
command and do the best you can. 

. . . You may think that the best plan is to work through 
the Filabusi to the Matopos, where we are eventually going. 
If so, do so ; but if you do, I suggest you take a few mule 
waggons with you for sick, wounded, and food. This plan 
of going on long journeys with only horse patrols is a 
mistake. You cannot fight on empty stomachs, though I 
agree that too many waggons hamper action. 

I can say no more, but thank you for all your good work. 

If you can, let me know what you are doing, but for 
goodness' sake don't risk despatch riders and horses. You 
will want every horse you have got. The nimble native you 
can use as a foot runner. 

Yours very truly, 

C. J. RHODES. 1 

Carrington, who had arrived about June 1st, took command 
of the forces, which had been most successful in every engage- 
ment in the open country, but the rebels had soon realised 
that they were no match for the whites there, and had with- 
drawn into the Matopo hills, where they put up a most 

1 The Matabeleland Rebellion, by Major Tyrie Laing. 
H.G.B. o 



210 RHODES : A LIFE 

stubborn resistance, and Carrington's first attempts to get 
the best of them there may be classed as failures. In four 
separate attacks made on the enemy during July the fight- 
ing was of a very severe nature, and our losses in killed and 
wounded were in the neighbourhood of 15 per cent, in a 
force of just under 1000 men. 

Ehodes had arrived in Bulawayo shortly after Carrington, 
having travelled down with a relief force from Salisbury and 
seeing on the way many burned-down homesteads ; in some 
of them the remains of murdered settlers men, women, and 
children which were all given Christian burial. Coming 
south from Gwelo, where all the settlers and miners who 
had escaped massacre were in laager, Rhodes was in many 
skirmishes, and his white flannel trousers, which he always 
wore when on the veld, made him an easy mark for a 
Matabele bullet and caused much anxiety to Colonel Napier, 
commanding the force. Fortunately the marksmanship of the 
enemy snipers was bad, and though Rhodes was frequently 
c potted ' at he reached Bulawayo safely. No one ever 
received a greater welcome. The settlers, who were all 
laagered up in the Market Square, felt as if their troubles 
were at an end ; men and women united in cheering them- 
selves hoarse, and an air of cheerfulness at once took the 
place of the depression that had affected everyone for many 
weeks. 'Now that Rhodes is here everything will be all 
right ' was heard on every side, and nobly did he shoulder 
the burden. 

Rhodes, after his arrival at Bulawayo, for a time played 
the role of onlooker, merely holding himself ready to take a 
hand in things when the necessity should occur. Carring- 
ton, who had some very good officers with him, including 
Colonel Baden-Powell, had promptly reorganised the field 
forces, but he soon recognised that he had to deal with a 
very difficult situation in the Matopo hills, and, as already 
mentioned, his first attempts to dislodge the rebels from 
their fastnesses there had been none too successful. He 
began to take a more serious view of the situation and 
hinted at the desirability of increasing his forces to enable 



COURAGE 211 



him to surround the hills and starve the natives to sub- 
mission. 

Rhodes had not been long in the place before he was asked 
to address a public meeting, and in the course of his speech 
he said : ' . . . My aspirations for the pioneering and de- 
velopment of this country could never have been realised had 
it not been for the people who helped me to carry out my 
ideas. It was easy to take the initiative and easy to keep 
the path open, but it would have been impossible to accom- 
plish my ideas had not the people grasped them and carried 
them out. Difficulties far beyond expectation were en- 
countered, but you have overridden these and are within 
measurable distance of a successful issue. . . . We are now 
building a railway towards you from the east coast, and have 
found the money to continue the one from the south, the 
material for which the Cape is generously giving preference 
to before even goods for the Transvaal. I would say to 
" mutes and grousers " that it is not possible to finish the 
line, for we have 500 miles to construct, within the year, 
but I mean to give you speedy railway communication. . . . 
You dealt with the Matabele by yourselves ; we are faced 
with a somewhat serious situation again, but we all feel that 
Sir ^Frederick Carrington will soon, with the ready help you 
are giving him, crush the rebellion. I do not shut my eyes 
to the fact that you people here have had a terrible time. 
Your list of killed and wounded is severe in the extreme. It 
shows how bravely you have faced the situation. ... It is 
a wonder to me how we manage to get through any diffi- 
culties as we are doing. It will interest you to know that 
the Chartered Company means to compensate you for war 
losses. It is unusual, and it is to the credit of the company. 
.... This country will be the abode of a white race. If I 
am allowed to remain and work with you, I look to the future 
for the charter to lapse and for you to become a self-govern- 
ing body, and that as speedily as possible. I hope you will 
prepare your minds for such an idea, for I intend to confer 
about it with Chartered shareholders, namely, some mode of 
self-government as a means of making you one of the States 



212 RHODES: A LIFE 

of South Africa, and above all, that the end of -our efforts 
shall be South African Federation/ 

At this juncture grave news was brought in from Mashona- 
land, where large numbers of white settlers had been attacked 
and murdered by the hitherto peaceful natives, who had now 
joined their old enemies, the Matabele, and risen suddenly 
in almost every part of that province. To cope with this 
totally unexpected situation it was necessary that a sub- 
stantial portion of Carrington's forces should be sent to their 
relief. 

Salisbury was hastily fortified, and women and children 
from outlying districts were brought in safely by small 
parties of the Salisbury volunteers, who displayed the 
greatest bravery. But those settlers who lived further out 
were almost all hacked to death with battle-axes and native 
assegais before help could arrive. 

Hubert Hervey a friend of Rhodes, strongly imbued with 
his Imperial ideas and a trooper in Colonel Plumer's column 
was mortally wounded in an engagement in the Matopos, 
and while he was being carried back on a stretcher he 
exclaimed, ' Who knows but that I may soon be pegging 
out claims for England in Jupiter ! ' x When in hospital 
he asked to see Rhodes, who of course visited him, saying 
afterwards, 6 He was without fear and without self. I 
knew him very well. That feeling about the Empire was 
the ideal of his life/ 

Although Carrington's aggressive tactics among the >n'n 
had mostly ended in stalemate, the Matabele now began to 
realise that they were likely to be continuously harried ; 
numbers of them were being killed and wounded and signs 
of considerable weakening were noticed in their resistance. 
They concentrated the bulk of their forces in one of the most 
difficult parts of the Matopo hills, with the object apparently 
of drawing Plumer's troops in that direction, where a mounted 
force was quite useless. Rhodes and Grey realised that the 
campaign was resolving itself into a guerilla war and that, 
while the natives would undoubtedly be starved into sub- 
1 Memoirs of Hubert Hervey, by Earl Grey. 




a 

01 

8 

"^ 





o 

5 



s 



fc* 
o 



COURAGE 213 



mission, this could only be at a cost of many lives and of great 
expenditure, while the industries of the country must remain 
paralysed so long as nearly all the settlers were on active 
service. 1 Carrington, whose main forces had now been moved 
near Umlugulu, the chief stronghold of the rebels in the 
Matopos, decided it would require at least five thousand men 
to drive them out of the hills, and Rhodes became gravely 
concerned. A further campaign in and around the 
Matopo hills, which was bound to be in the nature of a 
siege, would cost an enormous amount of money, which, 
added to what the company had already expended in 
fighting for its territory plus the losses incurred by the 
rinderpest and the stoppage for several months of all in- 
dustrial work, would bring ruin to the Chartered Company 
and antagonise the natives for years. Thinking over the 
matter hard for some days and talking of it freely to 
Metcalf e, Colenbrander, and others, he thought he saw a quick 
and simple, if very daring, way out of the difficulty, to which, 
after overcoming many objections, he obtained General 
Carrington's consent. The first move was to Plumer's head- 
quarters on the edge of the Matopos, where things were fully 
thought over and plans matured. Rhodes's idea was that 
he, whose name was known to every native in the country, 
should go unguarded and unarmed into the fastnesses of 
the Matopos and try by his own persuasive powers to induce 
the Matabele to lay down their arms and discuss terms of 
surrender. His magnetic influence over white men was 
already a well-established fact ; but this was the first time 
he had tried the power of his personality in winning over 
wholly uncivilised and formidable barbarians, then in a state 
of open rebellion. c Surely,' he said, * there must be reason- 
able men among them who will listen to me when they know 
that I am ready to meet them. At any rate let us find out.' 
The way in which Rhodes carried out his project is 
another story, and is dealt with later on. 2 Suffice it at 
present to say that a meeting took place, at which Rhodes 
impressed on the chiefs that they could only continue 
1 Marshall Hole. See Chapter XXI. 



214 RHODES : A LIFE 

fighting while they were in the hills and that they had no hope 
of getting out, as they were surrounded ; they would soon 
be starving, for he knew their food, even now, was very 
scarce, and unless they made terms with him soon they 
would be no better than baboons in a few weeks. 

This plain speaking shook them very much, and after a 
great deal of talk a complete understanding was arrived at. 
* Peace/ Rhodes declared, 'was as good as settled, if no 
stupidity occurs meanwhile,' he added. In order further 
to gain their confidence, Rhodes promised that he would live 
in their country for a time to see that they were fairly treated 
and that the promises made at the indaba were kept, which 
arrangement went far towards persuading the Matabele to 
accept definite terms of peace. 

In spite, however, of his great achievement, Ehodes had 
all he could do to conquer the authorities' reluctance to 
accept an arrangement that was not marked by sensational 
hangings and other severities. The view taken by General 
Carrington and Colonel Plumer over it was entirely in accord 
with Rhodes's ideas, but the Imperial Commissioner, Sir 
Richard Martin, would for a long time have none of it. It 
is even said that Rhodes had endless trouble with the mili- 
tary authorities before he got his pledges to the Matabele 
accepted, for they did not favour the policy of leniency to 
which he had pledged himself, and which was proved to be 
the right one, for the Matabele chiefs have ever since kept 
the promises they gave to hi whom they honoured as the 
greatest of white men. 

Throughout Rhodes's whole career we see a policy of 
firmness and justice unwaveringly followed in regard to the 
native races of South Africa. His earliest political utterances 
were rough, protests against disarming the Basutos, and all 
through his relations with the Bechuanas, with his own ser- 
vants, and with the countless tribes with whom he came in 
contact on the mines and in his own country, no single act 
of harshness or unfairness can ever be pointed out. By letting 
the Matabele first feel the strength of the white man in the 
earlier fighting, Rhodes had given them a sharp lesson in 



COURAGE 215 



regard to what they might expect if they persisted in re- 
bellion, but when they were driven into the hills and in 
danger of starving he considered that the time had come for 
gentler methods, to which attitude he held with unwavering 
determination. 

His future policy in regard to these late rebels was to 
make the chiefs salaried officers of the Government and to 
trust to them to manage their unruly young men and induce 
as many as possible to come and work for wages on the farms 
and in the mines, since, as we know, Rhodes always held the 
view that idleness is the curse of life and work the secret of 
happiness. By the dissemination of this practical philosophy 
in Rhodesia, he hoped to replace the old military spirit by 
habits of regular industry, which would also aid the advance 
of civilisation. 

On his return to Bulawayo, Rhodes said in a speech: 
' Looking back over the war in Matabeleland, however scep- 
tical any one of us may be, you will admit that for three 
hundred men who at the start went out to fight natives 
numbering about six thousand, the record of our losses of 
some seventy-five killed is a very fair one. After you had 
broken the natives up we were fortunate enough to get 
Imperial troops and to have them under the guidance of 
General Carrington. ... In considering the various courses in 
life which a man may pursue, I cannot think of any pleasanter 
course than the making of a country in which the inhabi- 
tants have so firm a belief. When I viewed the country 
when out with various commandos, I found how good the 
country is. I found how admirable it is for agriculture ; it 
is without a rival for stock ; and I feel quite clear about the 
future, even if the mineral development is not what you 
expect it to be. I repeat to you what I have repeatedly 
said to the shareholders, the world has never met with a 
country which, being well over four hundred miles in length 
and more than two hundred miles in width and mineralised 
in every direction, does not contain paying properties. By 
1897 Mr. Pauling has promised to bring you the railway from 
the south to Bulawayo, and they are now pushing on the 



216 RHODES : A LIFE 

railway from Beira as hard as they can. The war, therefore, 
has not been an unmixed evil, since you will soon have a 
railway which will bring you speedy communication, on 
which the measure of your success will be based. You can 
have no more attractive occupation than the development 
of a country from barbarism to civilisation. You have done 
me the favour of giving this country my name. My return 
for that will be to help in making this country as great as I 
can. There are many of you here who think that you will 
make your pile and disappear. Now I am going to make a 
forecast. I have seen the same thing in Kimberley and in 
many parts of South Africa, and you will find that when 
the pile is made you cannot throw yourself back into 
English life and you will soon find yourself back here 
again. The future is big. . . . We shall develop this State, 
not on lines of antagonism to the rest of South Africa, but 
of harmony with it. 

c You must not think that I incurred unnecessary risk in 
proceeding with the columns you sent into the field. I 
thought that by going with them I should get a knowledge 
of the people and a knowledge of the country, and I should 
share with you your risks and your responsibilities. So far 
as I am personally concerned I have been a happy man since 
I have been among you.' 

At this time Rhodes enjoyed immense popularity and in- 
fluence with all the settlers of Rhodesia, a large number of 
whom were Dutch, who during the last months had been in 
personal contact with the founder of their great country. 
He now prepared to leave the valuable work he had accom- 
plished in Rhodesia, to face his examination in regard to the 
Jameson Raid before the Select Committee of the House of 
Commons at Westminster. 

Before he left Rhodesia I persuaded him to visit a part of 
the country he had never been- in, lying eighty miles north 
of Umtali and known as the Inyanga district, where I assured 
him he would find the highlands of Rhodesia, containing 
mountains up to 8000 and 9000 feet in height, with perennial 
streams of the clearest water running through them in every 



COURAGE 217 



direction. In time, I said to him, it would become a great 
sheep country. He was somewhat unwilling to undertake the 
journey, and repeatedly cross-examined me over my descrip- 
tion, but at length he said : ' You have so raised my interest 
over this Inyanga country that I shall go and look at it, 
but if I am let down and have my time wasted, there will be 
trouble for you, there will be trouble for you.' I parted from 
hi in Bulawayo and he set off with Sir Charles Metcalfe, 
Milton, Jourdan, and Grimmer, passing through Salisbury 
on the way, where he stayed for some time and they dropped 
Milton, whom he had brought up from the Cape to re- 
organise the Civil Service and eventually to take over the 
administration of the country. Jourdan was also left behind 
to assist him for a time. Five weeks afterwards I received 
the following laconic note from Rhodes : 

*DEAB MCDONALD, Inyanga is much finer than you 
described. I find a good many farms are becoming 
occupied. Before it is all gone, buy me quickly up to 
100,000 acres and be sure you take in the Pungwe Falls. 
I would like to try sheep and apple growing. Do not say 
you are buying for me. Yrs., 

C. J. RHODES. 

' P.8. Michell l will finance you.' 

I was able to carry out his wishes, and at his death he left 
this great estate, as well as those of Sauerdale and Matopos 
also over 100,000 acres to the people of Rhodesia. 

When he reached Umtali on his way back there was bad 
news waiting for him. He found Lord Grey there, who said, 
* I have very bad news to give you.' Rhodes looked dis- 
turbed. ' Wliat is it ?' he asked. ' I'm desperately sorry 
to tell you,' said Grey, c that your house, Groote Schuur, 
has been burned to the ground and nothing saved.' c Is that 
all ? ' said Rhodes ; ' I thought you were going to say that 
Jameson was dead.' Much beautiful old Dutch silver, glass- 
ware, china, and furniture were destroyed, as well as valuable 

1 Sir Lewis Michell, then General Manager of the Standard Bank. 



218 RHODES: A LIFE 

historical papers of which there were no copies, and a massive 
old Dutch door which Rhodes greatly prized. Later Rhodes 
remarked to Grey, ' What with the Raid, rebellion, famine, 
rinderpest, and now my house burnt, I feel like Job, all but 
the boils.' Like all strong men, Rhodes was enormously 
strengthened by this year of adversity, since it is only the 
weak who in time of trouble go to the wall or become soured 
and complaining. Although there is no doubt that the shock 
of the Raid and its personal result, added to the troubles 
which followed in its wake, decreased Rhodes's physical 
energy and his power to withstand disease, it also strength- 
ened enormously the driving force of his character. 

Rhodes left Rhodesia by the way of Beira, deciding to 
visit Cape Town before leaving for England e to face the 
music,' and where he could answer the criticisms and sneers 
of those who, once his friends, now that they thought him 
broken and beyond recovery had nothing bad enough to say 
of their former leader. 

When he reached Port Elizabeth, however, he was met 
quite unexpectedly by a tremendous and entirely friendly 
ovation. He had never been on very friendly terms with 
this town, the people of which had criticised his northern 
policy none too favourably, and he was greatly touched 
by their welcome. Rarely had he been so affected. At a 
luncheon given in his honour, he got up and with no pre- 
paration whatsoever made one of those conversational 
speeches of which he was master. He said : ' The best thing 
is to tell you and those around me the thoughts of my mind. 
I am frank enough to own that I have had a troublesome 
year a pretty troublesome year. But during that period, 
whilst I was in the remote north, I often used to get some 
expression of sympathy from friends in the Cape, which used 
to give me help. ... If I can put to you a thought it is that 
the man who is continually prosperous does not know him- 
self his own mind and character. It is a good thing if one 
has a period of adversity. And, further, there is another 
thought connected with that. You find out who are your 
real friends. I will admit for I am ready to confess all 



COURAGE 219 



my faults that my experience has been this : from those 
from whom I expected most I got least, and from the most 
remote quarters and remote districts I got a kindly feeling 
and a kindly thought and a kindly consideration I never 
expected. ... It is fortunate that in all the troubles of this 
year I was able to see the right place to go to, and, I hope, 
the right course to take. I was told my public life was at 
an end, but the first thing I said in reply was that it was 
only beginning. I ask you to excuse the personal nature of 
my remarks, but it is a true one, much as I dislike too much 
personal allusion, but sometimes one cannot help it. I am 
confident enough to say and perhaps impudent enough to 
say it again that I do not feel that my public career is 
closed. I am going home to meet the committee of my own 
country. As soon as they release me from their assiduous 
attentions I mean to return to this country, and when I say 
" fftig country " I mean South Africa. I shall go to the 
North and do my best to develop that part in co-operation 
with the Cape Colony and any other of the States in South 
Africa which may desire to co-operate. I shall keep my seat 
in the Cape House, because it is part of my programme to 
show to the people of South Africa that I do not undertake 
a career of isolation. You may tell me my faults, you may 
condemn me, but until you turn me out I mean to remain 
with you. ... I have come to the conclusion that the best 
thing in politics is to take the people into your confidence. 
By that plan you know you are doing the right thing, because 
the people are really your partners in the country. ... I 
only hope in my future public career you will recognise that 
I have never abandoned the programme I have laid before 
you, and especially I hope I shall always preserve a grateful 
feeling for those who have welcomed me so warmly and so 
kindly in my time of trouble.' 

It was in the course of this speech that Rhodes made the 
remark which many people in England took umbrage at. 
* I am going home,' he said, e to meet the unctuous rectitude 
of my countrymen.' 

Erom Port Elizabeth he took the train to Kimberley, and 



220 RHODES: A LIFE 

at various places where the train stopped addresses of wel- 
come were presented to him, bearing as many Dutch as 
English signatures, and on each occasion Rhodes had to 
make a speech, the gist of which was that he meant to remain 
in politics and continue his work for the development of the 
North and for the federation of the States in South Africa. 

At Cape Town the Cape Parliament had appointed a 
Select Committee to hold an inquiry into the circumstances 
surrounding the Jameson Raid, which in its report just then 
issued condemned the conduct of the late Prime Minister in 
that he was thoroughly conversant with the preparations 
that led to the inroad, but that there was no evidence to 
show that the force concentrated at Pitsani should invade 
the Transvaal uninvited, and while absolving his character 
from reproach they stated that the part taken by him in the 
organisation was not consistent with his duty as Prime 
Minister. 

On December 28th he made a speech in Kimberley to the 
De Beers shareholders at the annual meeting of the Com- 
pany, and showed his usual grasp of the position of that 
concern. His reception in that town was so enthusiastic as 
to be indescribable, and he remarked to his audience, e I 
knew in my darkest hours that Kimberley would never 
fail me.' Pressed for time, he now hurried to Cape Town, 
being welcomed at every station on the way, and at Paarl, 
one of the Dutch strongholds, he was presented with an 
address signed by four hundred farmers, the bulk of them 
Dutchmen. It was the same at many other centres, and 
showed that he had won the hearts and confidence of the 
Dutch farmers, as well as those of the British, and despite 
the efforts of the Afrikander Bond they openly showed their 
sympathy with him. On January 1st, 1897, he reached the 
ruins of Groote Schuur and took up his residence for a few 
days in the servants' outside quarters and at once arranged 
about the rebuilding of the house. He also looked into the 
fruit-growing industry of the Cape, which had been languish- 
ing for some time, and, paying no heed to the cost, deter- 
mined to put it on a secure basis, which after a very heavy 



COURAGE 221 



expenditure and by great personal effort he managed to do 
in the course of the next few years. Not content with 
this, he took in hand the creation of an explosives and fertil- 
ising works some twenty-five miles from Cape Town, which 
soon became one of the biggest in the world and proved a 
great boon to the whole of South Africa. 

On January 5th he was entertained at a great banquet by 
the citizens of Cape Town, the Mayor, Sir John Woodheads, 
presiding. Various speeches were made, and Rhodes was 
urged to keep to political life. * You have done great things 
for Africa/ he was told, ' and we want you to continue. 
We see around us a new Cape Town. What has created 
it ? ... The opening of the North. On the roll of honour 
of those who have brought prosperity to South Africa, no 
name will be inscribed higher than yours.' On rising to 
reply, Ehodes received a great ovation from the crowded 
gathering. In a long speech he assured his hearers that he 
had no intention of deserting the Cape Colony, that Cape 
Town was and would continue to be one of the great taverns 
of the world, and that its people must see to it that it re- 
tained its pride of place. Civic pride built Rome, he told 
them, and in time he hoped it would rebuild Cape Town on 
lines its natural grandeur demanded. In spite of many 
faults he possessed and errors he had made, he felt that night 
that he still possessed the confidence and affection of his fellow- 
citizens. He would be proud to continue to work for their 
interests and those of the whole country. He had recently 
lost his house at the Cape, but his home was there and he 
had just arranged to have it rebuilt. His chief desire was 
for the progress and unity of South Africa, and the remarks 
made to him that evening had heartened him greatly. Let 
them be assured he would continue his efforts for the welfare 
of the country. 

The next day he sailed for England to appear before the 
Select Committee appointed by the House of Commons to 
inquire into the Jameson Raid, and he was given a memor- 
able send-off, a crowd of five thousand people gathering on the 
pier to watch his departure. He received many letters before 



222 EHODBS : A LIFE 

sailing from both Dutch and English, wishing him God-speed 
and all urging an early return to his work in South Africa, 
one writer saying, ' We are like sheep with no leader.' 

Early in 1897 Ehodes paid a visit to his old friend Jameson, 
now lying ill in London. Jameson's preliminary examina- 
tion had begun in March 1896 and lingered on until June, 
when he was committed for trial. Throughout those days 
he is described as sitting with his head resting on his hand, 
watching proceedings as though from some great distance. 
In October he was sentenced to fifteen months' imprison- 
ment, but owing to ill-health was released in the following 
December. 

Rhodes now faced the Select Committee, his first sitting 
taking place on February 16th. He met the formidable 
accusations against him coolly and collectedly, and was 
candid and consistent in his replies, listening to the evidence 
against him at times with amused interest. Nor did he 
make any attempt to * play to the gallery * when he had to 
answer for his actions, but stood on his merits and somewhat 
annoyed certain members of the Committee by turning the 
tables on them and asking them some very pertinent ques- 
tions. However, he made a frank and honest statement, 
neither whitewashing himself nor blaming any one ; and 
this especially as he refused to produce certain telegrams 
probably incriminating others who did not come before the 
Committee went far towards influencing public opinion in 
his favour. Labouchere, one of its members, who was the 
proprietor of Truth, had been attacking him in that paper 
for years, describing him as a financial pirate, a schemer and 
filibuster of the worst type, now thought he had him at his 
mercy and questioned him exceedingly closely over all 
matters connected with the Raid, in a somewhat unpleasant 
manner at first, but he found out nothing additional to what 
had already been told, and his views on the subject began 
to change. After it was all over he told a friend George 
Wyndham that he had to a certain extent misjudged 
Rhodes he was a better type than he had imagined ; and 
that he had wrongfully described him in his paper in the 



COURAGE 223 



past, and now knew that he was not seeking wealth for him- 
self nor exploiting the public to that end. He believed he 
was an honourable man in his way, but he (Labouchere) 
would not back him up in his Empire-building schemes. 
He did not believe in such things, but added that Rhodes 
had won his admiration in the witness-box by the frank 
answers he gave to all questions. Something of this nature 
he also said at a later date in his paper, which never after- 
wards displayed its previous bitterness to Rhodes. The 
Committee sat only two or three days a week, and Rhodes's 
examination was not concluded till March 5th. Sir William 
Harcourt, who had also examined him severely, said to him 
afterwards, ' I should not mind being in such a scrape if I 
could change the years I carry for yours.' * But Rhodes was 
the first to go. 

Briefly, the finding of the Committee was to the effect 
that Rhodes had failed in his duties as a public man and had 
seriously embarrassed both the Imperial and Colonial Govern- 
ments, causing for the time being grave injury to British 
influence in South Africa, but that there was nothing in the 
whole affair that dishonoured his personal character. 

Rhodes declined to wait to hear the verdict of the Com- 
mittee and went for a short trip to the Continent ; going as 
far as Italy to look at the olive gardens, in the hope that these 
valuable trees might be grown successfully in South Africa. 
Returning to London towards the end of March, he sailed 
on the 3rd of April, arriving in Cape Town on the 20th, 
where he was met by a huge gathering of South Africans 
headed by the Mayors of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. 
The very first day after his arrival he took his seat in the 
Legislative Assembly and received a most cordial welcome. 

He was now urgently begged to return to politics at the 
Cape. Among many appeals sent to him one runs thus : 
* We unanimously think it is of utmost importance and 
necessary to your interests as well as the whole of South 
Africa that you should be present at the opening of Par- 
liament or as soon as possible after. If you be present you 

iMichelL 



224 RHODES : A LIFE 

can rely on support of all your friends as well as a large 
number of waverers and those at present unfavourably dis- 
posed to you. ... A large number of Dutch say if you 
return you can rely on their support, notwithstanding 
all that has been done, and you will be sure to have a 
majority. . . . D. C. de Waal and your friends cannot too 
strongly urge you to come. Only your opponents hope 
you may not.' x 

Rhodes was a constant attendant in the House all through 
May, but he took little part in its debates, although he made 
several speeches in public during that month. To a large 
body of railway workmen from Salt River Works he said, 
* We are partners in the far north and we must stand for 
equal rights and equal laws for every white man, and let the 
best man win irrespective of his race.' 

Early in June he proceeded to Rhodesia, which country 
was now entering on a period of great and deserved pros- 
perity. Speaking at a gathering in Bulawayo on July 14th, 
while laying the foundation stone of the Wesleyan Church 
there, he said : * . . . There is nothing one notices in life 
more than the similarity of religions. Whether one inquires 
into the religion of the ancient Egyptians and takes up 
the Book of the Dead, the precepts of which are almost 
CTTni1a.r to those of Zoroaster or Confucius ; or goes back to 
the religion of the Romans and reads the Meditations of 
Marcus Aurelius ; or considers the religion of the Greeks, 
and reads the work of Aristotle ; in all the same idea is to 
be found to raise humanity higher. The idea is not new ; 
it is as old as the beginning of civilisation in the world. 
What we have to be thankful for to-day is that the super- 
stitions of the religions of the past are disappearing. One was 
the superstition in connection with human sacrifice. If you 
only look back a very short time in the history of Rhodesia 
you will find the superstition of the M'limo which gave the 
happy despatch to so many. That was a religion, but a 
bad one. The Spanish Inquisition resulted from another, 
as did the Scottish Covenanter period. The object of all of 

1 Michell. 



COURAGE 225 



them was sound, but the methods were often appalling in 
their application. The object, I say, was sound it was for 
the betterment of humanity in every case ; and I would ask 
all of you here present to help, in however small a degree, 
towards the attainment of that object.* 

On only one other occasion, so far as I know or have been 
able to trace, did he ever set out his views on religion, and 
that was at the laying of another foundation stone for a 
church, the South African Presbyterian Church, at Wood- 
stock, one of the suburbs of Cape Town, on July 29th, 1899. 
His speech is worth repeating, for it deserves wider know- 
ledge than it appears to have received. 

'You have paid me,' he said, c a great compliment by 
asking me to come and lay this stone. I recognise that it 
is a tribute from you to that which is a most practical idea 
of your church, that is work. You have asked me to come 
here because you recognise that my life has been work. Of 
course I must say frankly that I do not happen to belong to 
your particular sect in religion. We all have many ideals, 
but I may say that when we come abroad we all broaden. 
We broaden immensely, and especially in this spot, because 
we are always looking on that mountain, and there is im- 
mense breadth in it. That gives us, while we retain our 
individual dogmas, immense breadth of feeling and con- 
sideration for all those who are striving to do good work 
and perhaps improve the condition of humanity in general. 
I remember when the Bishop of Deny was out here and was 
staying with me, when the Bishop's daughter was married 
from my house, how, on the Sabbath, the Bishop said to me, 
" I suppose you are coming to hear me at Kondebosch 
Church ? " and I replied, " No, Sir, I have got my own chapel." 
The Bishop said, " Where is it ? " and I replied, " It is up the 
mountain." The Bishop thereupon remarked, " Dear me, 
cfiear me, what a nice place to have your church." The fact 
iis, if I may take you into my confidence, that I do not care 
to go to a particular church even on one day in the year 
when I use my own chapel at all other times. I find that 
up the mountain one gets thoughts, what you might term 

H.C.B. P 



226 RHODES : A LIFE 

religious thoughts, because they are thoughts for the better- 
ment of humanity, and I believe that is the best description 
of religion, to work for the betterment of the human beings 
who surround us. This stone I have laid will subsequently 
represent a building, and in that building thoughts will be 
given to the people with the intention of raising their minds 
and making them better citizens. That is the intention of 
the laying of this stone. I will challenge any man or any 
woman, however broad their ideas may be, who object to 
going to church or chapel, to say they would not sometimes 
be better for an hour or an hour and a half in church. I be- 
lieve they would get there some ideas conveyed to them that 
would make them better human beings. There are those 
who, throughout the world, have set themselves the task of 
elevating their fellow-beings, and have abandoned personal 
ambition, the accumulation of wealth, perhaps the pursuit 
of art, and many of those things that are deemed most 
valuable. What is left to them ? They have chosen to do 
what ? To devote their whole mind to make other human 
beings better, braver, kindlier, more thoughtful, and more 
unselfish, for which they deserve the praise of all men.' 

During this visit to Rhodesia its founder spoke freely and 
often over the political future of the country. Although he 
gave his life for the unification of South Africa, of which he 
always intended Rhodesia should become a part, yet he felt 
that a period of responsible government would be advisable 
to show the people how strong they were economically. He 
never ceased to urge that the whole of Africa south of the 
Zambesi should draw together into one undivided state or 
dominion ; for he foresaw clearly that if Rhodesia held aloof 
from the Southern States she would eventually find herself 
there through sheer economic pressure which, owing to her 
geographical position, could be forced upon her, therefore tho 
greater her strength, the greater her position in the Federated 
States. He urged, however, that responsible government 
should not be sought after too lightly. Experience had 
taught him that self -discipline above all was necessary before 
such a stage could be successfully adopted, and this quality 




I 






COURAGE 227 



is not acquired in a day. He was convinced that the com- 
mon weal not one's own should be the objective, for no 
one can successfully make laws for others until he is able to 
govern himself. Rhodes lived his whole life in harmony 
with t'hig philosophy. 

Federation he deliberately chose in preference to union. 
He said time and again that nationalism must be given free- 
dom of expression and action, and the Colonies allowed to 
reach their destiny through their own efforts, otherwise 
contentment would never ensue. 'And without content- 
ment/ he added, ' progress becomes an impossibility/ 



CHAPTER XX 
DAYS ON THE VELD 

MY first meeting with Rhodes was in Kimberley about the 
end of November 1890, when he had got back from a long 
journey of well over 2500 miles, the greater part of which 
had to be accomplished by mule and ox waggon. He had 
left Kimberley about the end of September in the hope of 
getting to Salisbury, which had only, on the llth of that 
month, been reached and so named by the pioneer force he 
had created and sent north to occupy Mashonaland. Push- 
ing forward via Notwani and Macloutsi as hard as he could 
travel, he and his party arrived at Fort Tuli on the 1st of 
November, and due to an early wet season found the Shashi 
River rising rapidly and the Limpopo in gathering flood, and 
it was realised that for some months further communication 
with the north would soon be cut off. The trip had there- 
fore most reluctantly to be abandoned, and the return jour- 
ney was made via Zoutpansberg, Pietersburg, and Pretoria, 
where Rhodes and his companions were entertained by 
President Kruger, with whom the former had a very long 
conversation on northern developments. Rhodes on arrival 
at Kimberley was very full of the wonderful country that 
lay beyond Tuli and the Limpopo River, into which he had 
only succeeded in penetrating thirty miles, and I decided 
that I must make every effort to find a way of getting there 
as soon as might be possible. Very shortly afterwards, 
through the good offices of Mr. C. D. Rudd, a partner of 
Rhodes's in the early Kimberley days and the man who had 
been instrumental in securing the concession over Mashona- 
land from Lobengula, I was offered an appointment with the 



DAYS ON THE VELD 229 

Goldfields of South Africa, a large company operating in 
South Africa. The managing directors were Rhodes and 
Rudd, who had decided to send a prospecting expedition to 
Mashonaland, in which I was offered a position, and needless 
to say I promptly accepted. A long trek, lasting some four 
months, brought our party to Salisbury in May 1891. In 
the later part of the year I again met Rhodes, whom I could 
now approach without undue trepidation as he was in a 
sense my employer. He had travelled up the coast from 
Cape Town to Beira on a small steamer, and then with his 
small party of some four or five walked from there to Umtali, 
a distance of nearly two hundred miles, in the very hottest 
month of the year. Very few indeed had ever managed this 
journey on foot before, and it was in those days a most risky 
business, for the rivers and watercourses were infested with 
crocodiles and the whole country overrun with lions. Rhodes 
and his companions included among whom were the well- 
known Major (now Colonel) Frank Johnson and Mr. D. C. 
de Waal had many trying adventures before they reached 
Umtali, but beyond losing some of their belongings they 
arrived there safely and found a mule waggon and some 
riding horses waiting to carry them on to Salisbury, which 
they rode into early in October, and it was then that my 
friendship with Rhodes really began. He spent a few days 
in Salisbury, but before leaving for the south he paid a visit 
to one or two newly discovered mines in the Mazoe, where 
two of his old prospectors from Kimberley McWilliams and 
Haddocks were at work. I accompanied him on this trip, 
when our friendship was cemented, as the following incident 
will show. After dinner one night he questioned me very 
closely about a mine that was being opened up, and I was 
able to reply fully, as I had carried out the work myself. 
Rhodes always tried to get to the bottom of every subject 
he took an interest in, and questioned and re-questioned on 
the matter till he got a complete grasp of it. This form of 
examination I was put through, but my replies evidently did 
not please him, for he said, * It is clear you know nothing 
about it ; you are wasting my time with your ignorant replies. 



230 RHODES : A LIFE 

I tell you that you are a very ignorant young man.' The 
result was that, knowing I was in the right and being ex- 
tremely nettled, impetuous, heated words passed between 
us, to the concern of the other members of the party, and 
I eventually turned on my heel and went off to sleep under 
a tree near by where I had spread my rugs. My night was 
sleepless, for as I grew calmer I remembered that Ehodes 
was one of the heads of my company, and I felt quite sure 
my services would be dispensed with and the opportunity I 
had been given of getting on to the ladder would be lost to 
me. I reviled my stupidity in losing my temper, and did 
not feel in a cheerful mood when, being in charge of the 
expedition, I got up at 5 a.m. to wake up the c boys,' see 
the mules and horses fed, and have coffee prepared for our- 
selves. After attending to this, I came back towards the 
camp fire that had been kept going all night to keep off lions, 
and found Rhodes had turned out and was sitting there. I 
said nothing and kept well away from him, doing some small 
jobs for a short time ; then I heard, c M-m-m, I thinlr you 
lost your temper last night, I think you lost your temper 
last night,' spoken in the falsetto he sometimes adopted. 
' Yes, Mr. Ehodes, I did and I'm sorry. It was stupid of 
me, but I must stand to all I said about the Lotos Mine/ 
' M-m, it is foolish to lose one's temper, I've always found it 
so, but let's be fair ; we'll go to the mine, and if Eolker (a 
well-known American Turning engineer who was in the party) 
says you are wrong you'll climb down, you'll climb down, I 
hope ; while if you are right, I will, I will. And now,' he 
added, e let us have our coffee/ Soon after the others ap- 
peared, and there was general surprise to sefe Ehodes and 
myself talking to each other in the most friendly fashion 
after the explosion of the previous night. Next day we 
visited the Lotos Mine, which was duly looked at by Eolker, 
who confirmed my statements, and at dinner that night 
Ehodes said, e I was wrong two nights ago and McDonald was 
right. I offer him an apology, but I tell ."him again, it is 
foolish to lose one's temper. Eemember that, it is foolish to 
lose your temper.' From that day on he gave me his fullest 



DAYS ON THE VELD 231 

confidence in all matters he had at heart, and we remained 
firm and close friends to the end of his life. 

After his long journey from the east coast to Salisbury 
in 1891 Rhodes left that place on his return to the Cape via 
Fort Victoria, Palapye, and Mafeking towards the end of 
October, reaching Fort Victoria about the 5th or 6th of 
November. I had arrived there a few days before on busi- 
ness for my company and had gone out to visit a mine, 
* The Dickens,' some fifteen miles to the west of the fort, 
and was greatly surprised one morning before breakfast to 
see Rhodes, de Waal, Captain Tyson, Dr. Jameson, and 
Selous ride up. They had come out to see the mine which 
had just been discovered and which was being worked for 
Robert Williams (later of Katanga and Tanganyika Conces- 
sions fame), a personal friend of Rhodes in the early Kim- 
berley days, by George Grey, one of the pioneers of Katanga 
and a brother of Sir Edward Grey (Foreign Secretary 1905 
to 1916). Rhodes and his party had been at the ruins 
of Zimbabwe the previous day, and he was full of what he 
had seen there and of the work that Theodore Bent, the well- 
known archaeologist, was carrying out for him. He took 
from his pockets and showed M. S. Runchman, another 
Kimberley friend of his who was with me, and myself a 
number of gold beads, bits of gold chain, gold-leaf, and other 
articles that had been dug up in some of the excavations 
being made by Bent, who said he had not been able so far 
to form any idea as to the origin of the ruined buildings. 
After looking round the mine and drinking some coffee with 
us, Rhodes asked me to go with him as far as Cbibi's kraal, 
distant some forty-five miles from Victoria, then a collection 
of some ten or twelve pole and mud buildings built in the 
vicinity of the fort, as he might want an independent witness 
in connection with certain matters that had to be dealt with 
there. This I was easily able to do, and I followed him up 
to Victoria, where I saw Lord Randolph Churchill, who was 
shaking the dust of Mashonaland from his feet and return- 
ing to England. He looked and talked like a very sick 
man, and I felt very sorry for him though he showed no 



232 RHODES : A LIFE 

desire to be pleasant to anyone. He asked Ehodes to travel 
with hi to Kimberley, but that Rhodes said he couldn't 
do as he had to break off the direct road further on and go 
across country to see King Khama at Palapye. So Lord 
Randolph went off with his own small party an unhappy- 
looking lot, so different from Rhodes's high-spirited little 
company. 

Rhodes's object in going to Chibi was to see the chief of that 
name, who according to three well-known individuals in the 
Transvaal Messrs. Adendorff, Brummer, and Vorster had 
given them concessionary rights over a great stretch of 
territory lying between the Tokwe and Limpopo rivers and 
known as Banyailand, which Chibi and his predecessors had 
held under full chieftainship control for many years. The 
Adendorff Concession, as it was called, had attracted much 
attention in the Transvaal, and a very considerable expedi- 
tion was equipped under the leadership of Colonel Ferreira 
and set out to occupy the territory early in 1891. As, how- 
ever, all the country down to the Portuguese border was 
claimed and effectively occupied by Lobengula, the Imperial 
Government who had confirmed the concession he had 
granted to the Chartered Company advised the Transvaal 
to withdraw it, which was eventually done after some dis- 
cussion between Colonel Ferreira and the other leaders and 
Dr. Jameson. The incident, which had assumed an un- 
pleasant aspect for some time, had been practically closed a 
month or two before Rhodes reached Rhodesia, but as he 
passed right through Chibi's country on his way south he 
decided to secure evidence on the spot to disprove finally 
Adendroff's statements should any further trouble arise. 
And this he did with his usual thoroughness. 

I slept at his camp that night, and at sunrise next morning 
Rhodes, de Waal, Jameson, Selous, and I set out on horse- 
back for Chibi's kraal, and were accompanied by Mr. 
Brabant, the Chief Native Commissioner of Mashonaland, 
who had come down from Salisbury specially to interpret. 
It took us about three hours to reach the kraal, which was 
situated high up on a granite hill and closely stockaded 



DAYS ON THE VELD 233 

against attack from Matabele raiders and wild animals. We 
had brought two ' boys ' to carry a breakfast hamper, and 
off-saddled near the kraal in a shady spot and ate that meal 
with zest. Brabant then went off to prepare Chibi for 
Rhodes's visit, and soon after we followed and found the 
chief sitting in a small chair surrounded by ten or twelve 
sub-chiefs and councillors. Chibi was a pleasant-looking 
native about seventy years old, and seemed to be held in 
much respect by his subjects. e Are you the head chief of 
all the country around us ? ' asked Ehodes. * Yes/ replied 
Chibi, ' I own all the country from the Tokwe on the north 
to Bubi and Limpopo on the south, and from N'Danga on 
the east to Belingwe on the west.' ' Have you any great 
chief to whom you pay tribute ? * asked Rhodes. ' Yes/ 
said Chibi, c there is Lobengula, who forces payment from us 
every year. He is an evil man, and because my brother 
disputed his authority a number of years ago he was taken 
to Lobengula's kraal at Bulawayo and there he was clubbed 
to death. At this moment two of Lobengula's impis are in 
my country collecting cattle, grain, and numbers of my 
young people, whom they take as their slaves. To my sorrow 
I am kept in extreme subjection by this despot, Lobengula/ 
* Well, Chibi/ said Rhodes, * if you are not an independent 
chief, how does it happen that the Dutchman, Adendorff, 
claims that you gave hi concessionary rights over your 
country ? f 'He lies/ said Chibi ; ' he came here and I 
chased him away. I feared the anger of Lobengula if he 
heard of his visit, and now I hear that a grandson of mine, 
Sabessa, who has always been a bad man, has been induced 
by Adendorff to impersonate me and sign papers under my 
name. They are bad men, Sabessa, Adendorff, and the 
other two Dutchmen with him. I signed no papers, and I 
dread what Lobengula will do to me when he hears what 
my grandson has done. Sabessa's papers are no good to 
anyone, he is only a sub-chief to me and Lobengula does not 
recognise him/ After a great deal of further discussion, 
Chibi readily put his mark to a document in which all the 
salient points of the interview were set out and which had 



234 RHODES : A LIFE 

first been translated to Mm by Brabant. It was then duly 
witnessed and handed to Rhodes. Chibi then talked to 
Selous, who had frequently hunted in his district in previous 
years, and asked Mm to tell Rhodes that he would welcome 
the presence of his men in his country, as it might help to 
free him from Lobengula's attacks ; and, cabling the people 
of his kraal up, some four hundred in number, presented 
Rhodes to them as a man whom they could trust as a friend. 
He sent one of his attendants for a young bullock, two sheep, 
and a huge pot of beer, which he asked Rhodes to accept, 
and this the latter of course did, then inviting two of the 
councillors to go with him to his waggon so that he could 
send a present to Chibi. The interview lasted for nearly 
three hours, and when we left Chibi he looked much happier 
than when we arrived, for he clearly thought he would soon 
be able to defy Lobengula. Unfortunately, he attempted 
this too soon, and before Rhodes had been able to establish 
the mounted police force he was creating in Mashonaland, 
Chibi was attacked by Lobengula in force and he and fully 
two hundred of his people were massacred a year later. 

Rhodes loved getting away from business for a trip on the 
veld. Once free of the telegraph line and the innumerable 
callers who gave him no peace, he was a different being, 
becoming like a gleeful boy who had just got his school 
holidays, cheerful, happy, and chaffing his companions all 
the time. His travelling waggon would be sent on ahead, 
and we would overtake it on horseback for lunch, which the 
invaluable Tony would have set out for us under a shady 
tree. ' Tony/ Rhodes would call out as we approached the 
waggon, c have you got grilled chops and a mealy potato for 
lunch ? ' ' Yes, Sir,' replied Tony. ' That's clever, Tony ; 
how did you think of that ? ' ' Because I know what the 
Baas likes/ c And did you remember the onions, Tony ? ' 
' I forget nothing the Baas cares for/ replies the happy and 
smiling Tony. ' Ah/ said Rhodes at such times, ' this is the 
right life, Metcalfe, but from to-morrow there will be no 
more chops, so we must bestir ourselves and fill the larder 
with game/ 



DAYS ON THE VELD 235 

The period 1896 to 1901 had much happiness in it for 
Rhodes, who spent more time then on the veld than ever he 
had managed in previous years. What might be called his 
permanent party when he went on these expeditions in 
Rhodesia consisted of Sir Charles Metcalfe, Philip Jourdan, 
Jack Grimmer, and myself. With us were Tony de la Cruz, 
his courier, cook and valet, a most remarkable servant who 
went everywhere with him and watched over him with a 
maternal solicitude ; George, a Xosa native and a very faith- 
ful servant ; Villem, another very good and trustworthy native ; 
and Kaduna, a native youth of about twenty, a member 
of the royal Kumalu family and one of the best mannered 
natives I ever met. The last named was most willing to do 
anything, and we all liked him greatly ; but I am sorry to 
say he died of pneumonia in 1902. Then we had two native 
mule-drivers for the waggon team, and three native grooms 
for our horses. We were a very happy party. After the 
death of Neville Pickering, Sir Charles Metcalfe undoubtedly 
became Rhodes's closest friend, and each was very fond of 
the other, and in his last years Rhodes would not be parted 
from him if it could possibly be avoided. Philip Jourdan 
was one of the most kindly, delightful, and clean-minded 
characters that one could ever meet, a young man who be- 
lieved ill of no one and the best secretary, Rhodes maintained, 
he ever had. At a very critical period in Rhodes's life 
Jourdan stood hi in wonderful stead, and Rhodes never 
forgot that. Jack Grimmer was a quiet, humorous young 
fellow, who countered Rhodes's many thrusts with a wit 
and gTHH the latter greatly enjoyed. He was one of his 
Kimberley young men, and he was very anxious to see him 
make a mark in Rhodesia. Grimmer and Tony, alas, both 
followed Rhodes to the grave very soon after his death. 
As to myself, I fear I was, to quote Rhodes, rather given to 
pushing them too hard when some of them wanted to go 
easy. ' McDonald is working us too hard, Grimmer/ he 
would say ; c we came out for a rest and he drives us all day 
long. I think we had better go on strike/ Grimmer liked 
that idea, as he was of a very easy-going temperament, but 



236 RHODES : A LIFE 

it never came off, as Rhodes encouraged me quietly to go on, 
for lie was as energetic in the rare pleasures he managed to 
secure as in his work. The days he spent on the veld were 
never idle. There was always an object to be attained 
some big native chief to see, a promising farming district, 
the discovery of a new mine, a mission station or something 
else to be looked at, but the life was free and full of interest 
and there were no telegrams to deal with, no fresh burdens 
to be shouldered till the trip was finished ; and he loved 
every minute spent on these expeditions. 

Piles of letters followed hi to Rhodesia, and what looked 
like Government or official communications were opened by 
his secretary at once, the others being thrown into a hamper 
which gradually filled up, when a second was requisitioned. 
Then when we left for the veld, the hampers were put in the 
waggon, and at the camp fire at night we each took a budget 
and opened them, sorting out what had to be attended to 
soon into one hamper and those that could wait into another. 
On returning to civilisation, the secretary employed two or 
three typists and made a clearance for the time being. 
Some of the letters required no reply, their contents render- 
ing such unnecessary. There were frequent proposals of 
marriage, which were promptly put in the fire. These came 
from all over the world, America, Canada, New Zealand, 
the Cape, Australia, as also from England, most of the 
writers declaring that they were sure Rhodes would do still 
greater or better work if he married. Then there were scores 
asking for help financially these were all considered, and 
in cases which he thought deserving Rhodes sent cheques 
varying in amount from five to as much as five hundred 
pounds. Other letters brought accounts of wonderful 
mineral discoveries and asked help to develop these. As 
far as possible arrangements were made to examine all such, 
although it was generally expected that nine-tenths of them 
would prove to be worthless (as it turned out), but Rhodes 
never turned down anything of the kind that sounded hope- 
ful without having it looked at by someone competent to 
give a sound opinion on it. 



DATS ON THE VELD 237 

There were also letters from all sorts and conditions of 
people, including politicians, soldiers, sailors, missionaries, 
and explorers, most of whom received replies, but in nearly 
every case from his secretary, for Rhodes wrote very few 
letters himself, doing nearly all his personal correspondence 
by telegram and cable. 

Rhodes would never go on trek or on a shooting trip 
unless he had at least one good dog. He did not like small 
dogs such as spaniels, but was fond of pointers, and although 
he didn't always possess one himself he was generally able 
to borrow one or more when he went on a trip on the veld, 
which, as will have been gathered, he liked to do whenever 
he had the time. 

I remember him telling us one day of an incident that 
happened in Kimberley some time before he became Prime 
Minister of the Cape. He had fixed up a shooting trip for 
a week-end on the Vaal River with two friends, but had no 
dog at the time. Remembering, however, that a friend of 
his, Mr. Advocate Lange, had two, he sent hi a no te asking 
if he would kindly loan them to him for two days. Lange 
replied he was very sorry, but that he considered Rhodes 
was not competent to handle his dogs, which he therefore 
did not care to lend to him. Rhodes was rather annoyed, 
but said nothing then. A few years afterwards, when he 
was Prime Minister, a judgeship fell vacant and Lange, than 
whom no one was better qualified for the position, was hoping 
that it would be offered to him, and his desire was made known 
by some of his friends to Rhodes, who was asked to give 
him favourable consideration. To this Rhodes said, ' You 
just remind Lange of his refusal to lend me his pointer dogs/ 
Consequently Lange, when he heard this, thought his selec- 
tion was hopeless. Five weeks passed ; then he met Rhodes, 
who said, ' By the way, Lange, you must try to think better 
of your fellow-men, if they want to borrow a dog from you, 
now that you have been appointed to judge them ! ' Thus 
a new and lasting friendship was created. 

Rhodes had a great affection for my old pointer, ' Con, 9 a 
very friendly and well set up dog and one full of knowledge, 



238 RHODES : A LIFE 

and when he came to Rhodesia on a visit he used to borrow 
Tnm always if I were not with him on his journeys through 
the country. I received from him the letter shown in 
facsimile on one occasion when I lent him the dog for a long 
trip. 

In those days there were no railways, and motor-cars were 
unknown in South Africa, all our travelling being done by 
mule or bullock waggons. Going out from Gwelo to bag a 
few brace of partridges one afternoon, Rhodes set off with 
Con, and was accompanied by Sir Charles Metcalf e and Jack 
Grimmer, his secretary at the time. Con soon found a 
covey, which was duly flushed but entirely missed by all 
three guns. On they went, and shortly after another covey 
was found by the old dog, who again stood firm, with a similar 
result, not even a feather being dropped. Con did not 
apparently view the proceedings over favourably ; as Rhodes 
said he stood still and sniffed the air and declined to range 
for a bit, but, thinking better of it, shortly after he set out 
again and after some fifteen minutes or so he once more 
drew up on a good point. All three carrying guns were 
quite moderate shots, but once again every bird was missed. 
This was too much for Con, who turned round and trotted 
quietly back to the waggon, where he was found by the 
sportsmen on their return a couple of hours later. Fortu- 
nately, they had heard some guinea-fowl and successfully 
stalked them to the extent of bagging half a dozen, so Tony, 
the cook, was made happy. 

On another occasion when the same party were trekking 
from Umtali to Inyanga, Rhodes and Metcalfe were riding 
along accompanied by Con very early one morning and had 
got some two miles ahead of the waggon, which, owing to the 
very mountainous road, was coming along at a pace not 
exceeding two and a half miles an hour. Neither of the 
horsemen carried a gun, and Con was seen to be pointing. 
Metcalfe said, c What a pity we didn't bring a gun ! ' To which 
Rhodes replied, ' Do not distress yourself. He'll stand there 
ti]l the waggon comes up and we get our guns.' ' Nonsense/ 
said Metcalfe. * TU bet you half-a-crown on it/ said Rhodes. 



ft 












DAYS ON THE VELD 239 

(He often made bets on things, but never beyond the half- 
crown.) It was threequarters of an hour before the waggon 
reached them, and in the meantime Rhodes and Metoalfe 
had seated themselves on a rock and were keeping an eye 
on the dog, who had never wavered nor, curiously enough, 
had the birds moved, save perhaps for a yard or two. Guns 
were got out and Con was then walked up to his point, 
a brace of partridges being secured. 'My half-crown, 
Metcalfe ! ' said Rhodes, and Metcalfe handed it over. 

Con loved comfort when he knew there was no shooting 
afoot, and generally found the coolest spot in camp in hot 
weather and the warmest in cold. We used, all of us, to 
have quantities of grass cut which was laid out near the 
camp fire, our rugs being put on top, and, as Rhodes often 
said, our beds encouraged some of the party towards lazi- 
ness, so comfortable were they. Con never lost any time in 
selecting the softest place and always retired very soon after 
dining. One night he was very restless and got up again 
and again, weiring round and whining a good deal. It was 
remarked that he seemed worried, but eventually he lay 
down and was perfectly quiet for some time. Then he sprang 
up, barking furiously and keeping his eyes in one direction. 
Nothing would stop him nor would he move. Someone 
said, c a snake/ and a long stick was promptly secured and 
the grass well probed, Con becoming more and more excited. 
As the probing proceeded, out slithered a vicious cobra, some 
five to six feet long, which was soon despatched amid gurg- 
lings of satisfaction from Con, who promptly resumed his 
bed and was soon snoring and chasing hares in the hunting 
ground of his dreams ! His instinct that all was not well 
with our beds made him more of a favourite than ever with 
Rhodes. 

In 1896, after settling the Matabele Rebellion, Rhodes 
borrowed Con for some months and took him along with his 
party all through Mashonaland and right up to the Portu- 
guese border on the Zambesi ; after that bringing him down 
to Umtali and on to the border of the tsetse-fly country, into 
which of course he had no intention of talking him. From 



240 RHODES : A LIFE 

the latter point Con was sent off in charge of a white man to 
be put into the mail coach at Umtali, and conveyed back by 
that form of transport for some 500 miles to me in Bulawayo. 
The day after his departure the man turned up at Rhodes's 
camp, pale with fright, and said he had lost the dog. Rhodes 
was very annoyed and closely questioned the man, who said 
he had spent the night with some of the B.S.A. Police in 
Umtali while waiting for the coach, and Con had disappeared, 
and the officer in command had sent him back on a horse to 
let Rhodes know of his disappearance. As he had not re- 
turned to the camp, Rhodes feared he had been enticed away 
by natives, but as he was just starting off on the walk to 
Beira he gave very explicit instructions as to what was to 
be done over his loss and said he would pay a reward of 
fifty pounds for his recovery. To Lord Grey, who had gone 
down from Salisbury to see fri and tell him among other 
things of the burning of Groote Schuur, he said on parting, 
' If necessary, Grey, go up to a hundred pounds. I can't 
lose that dog, I'm so fond of him, besides what would 
McDonald say ! ' Grey said he would do his best, and 
would let him know what happened as soon as there 
was any news. Two days afterwards Con appeared in 
the police camp at Umtali in charge of a policeman, who 
described how he had found him in a native kraal some ten 
miles away, and a native runner was sent to inform Rhodes 
of the good news. This messenger brought back a hastily 
scrawled note to Grey, reading, ' Take care of Con ; I rely on 
you to see that he reaches McDonald safely. C. J. Rhodes.* 
In those days there was only one small mail coach running 
from Umtali to Salisbury and Bulawayo twice a week, and 
Grey was waiting for this, interesting himself for the time 
being in visiting some of the mines that were being opened 
up in the neighbourhood, and he handed Con over to the 
care of the sergeant of police. The coach started at 6 a.m. 
every Monday and Thursday, but when the Monday morning 
arrived Con was nowhere to be found. Grey was very angry 
and said many hard things, but no Con was forthcoming, so 
he postponed his departure for three days and again offered 



DAYS ON THE VELD 241 

a i eward ten pounds on this occasion. That had no effect, 
but twenty-five, with a hint that the police probably knew 
something about the business, brought Con into daylight 
again. This time Grey kept him in sight till Salisbury was 
reached, when he handed him over to the care of Major 
Jesser Coope, who was going through to Bulawayo, warning 
him to deliver hi to me safely at all cost! Con duly 
arrived, looking happy and sleek and evidently enjoying all 
the fuss he had been creating. Next time I met Rhodes he 
said, ' And how is that expensive dog of yours ? But I'd 
pay as much again he's worth it. I tell you Con is a very 
wonderful dog.' 

Towards the latter part of 1896 Colonel George Holford 
came up on a short visit to see Rhodes. He was at the time 
Chief Controller to the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIE.) 
and was considered one of the best shots in England. We 
were still camping out in the Matopos, waiting for some of 
the recalcitrant chiefs to come out of their fastnesses, and 
spent a good deal of time shooting and fishing. One night 
Rhodes, who had been describing the qualities of Con 
to Holford, who seemed to be rather amused, turned to 
H and said, ' Look here, Holford, I'll tell you what we'll 
do to-morrow ; we'll have a shooting match. You and 
Grimmer with his dog on one side of the river, and McDonald 
and myself with Con on the other ; and I'll back us two to 
beat you.' I protested, saying that Holford was a noted 
shot and we'd have a very poor showing ; for I was only 
moderate and Rhodes indifferent, whilst Grimmer was about 
my equal. Protests were no good; Rhodes insisted and 
staked his usual half-crown, and it was arranged that we 
were to start at 6.30 a.m. and be back in camp at 10.30. 
We got off up to time, and very soon we heard Holford and 
Grimmer blazing away, and before we had fired a shot they 
must have had at least a dozen. Things looked serious. 
Almost an hour elapsed before we had some luck in finding 
a covey of red-wing partridges, out of which we got a brace 
and a half. That cheered us. Then we bagged a hare and a 
duck, but a period of dullness followed and we still heard the 



M.O.B. 



242 RHODES : A LIFE 

guns on the other bank going at it. The position began to 
look black for us, until some native fields came into view 
and guinea-fowl were heard in them. At stalking this wily 
bird Rhodes was excellent, and we got within range, and 
as they got up he dropped two and I one. We marked the 
others down, and with Con's help got three more. Still the 
others kept blazing away, and we turned towards camp with 
gloomy forebodings, getting occasional shots as we went 
along, Rhodes shooting better than I ever saw him do. Con 
found us every bird we killed or wounded and on arriving 
at camp, which we all did simultaneously, we found we had 
a bag of seventeen head against our opponents' twelve! 
Rhodes was delighted and said, ' What did I tell you, Hoi- 
ford, what did I tell you ? But for Con we would have been 
defeated. I know what a good dog means, Holf ord ; buy 
yourself one, buy yourself one, and you'll do better still at 
home ! I don't believe you know what a good dog is, 
Holford.' Then came the explanations Grimmer's dog had 
been wild and flushed most birds just out of range, but long 
shots had been taken in the hope of bringing them off. His 
dog was also poor over c runners ' ; so we won the half -crown 
and Con's reputation kept on the up grade. A week after 
the event the genial and lovable George Wyndham turned 
up, and Holford's defeat was well set out to fr and he was 
invited to a similar match, but he was wise enough perhaps 
to say he'd prefer to shoot over Con, whose worth he had 
heard so much about, and the proposal never came to 
anything. 

Con's end came very suddenly. We Rhodes, Grimmer, 
and I were out shooting one afternoon, going along the 
banks of the Bubi River, having excellent sport, and Con was 
excelling himself in finding wounded birds. It was very hot, 
and as he seemed rather thirsty we made towards a large 
pool so that he could drink and plunge in for a swim, which 
he was fond of doing. Directly we got there Con, as was 
usual with him, took a running jump into the river, and 
actually landed in the jaws of a crocodile. He gave one 
yelp, and I caught a glimpse of what was happening and fired 



DAYS ON THE VELD 243 

both barrels of my gun into the water, but a few ripples only 
marked the end of the best dog I ever possessed. Rhodes 
was much concerned, and for many a day afterwards 
wouldn't go out shooting, and when he did later on he said 
the zest had gone, for Con's fine work had always given him 
full half the pleasure he had in it. Perhaps it was a good 
ending for the old dog, for he had been with me for six years 
and he was three years old when I got him, and old age 
would have been difficult for a dog of his character. His 
friendly ways and high courage are as fresh in my mind to- 
day after twenty-five years as ever. He had given me a 
fine companionship, and I long felt the lack of his joyous 
presence. 

In the early winter of 1894, about June, Rhodes paid a 
lengthened visit to Rhodesia, and was accompanied by a 
number of noted mining experts, including John Hays 
Hammond, J. A. Chalmers, Jefferson dark, Dr. H. Sauer, 
8. Hancock, and others whom he wished to interest in the 
prymJTig possibilities of Rhodesia. 

On reaching Salisbury it was decided to visit first some of 
the mines in the Loznagunda district, and chiefly the * Ayr- 
shire/ which was a recent and very promising discovery. 
We set off therefore one morning early with two mule waggons 
and half a dozen riding horses, hoping to cover forty miles 
the first day and sleep at Umvukwe overnight, as there was 
some protection at that place against lions getting at our 
fl.TiiTnfl.1a After breakfasting near a small stream fifteen 
miles from Salisbury, we inspanned again for our next trek 
about half-past ten, Rhodes, Sir Charles Metcalfe, and I 
starting off ahead on horseback. About an hour after- 
wards we overtook a solitary white man trudging along with 
four * boys ' carrying his food and blankets. Rhodes, who 
liked to converse with everyone he met, rode up to him and 
said, c Good-day to you, and where are you off to ? ' * Oh/ 
replied the traveller, ' I'm on my way to do some prospecting 
down by the Angwa.' 'M-m/ murmured Rhodes, c but 
how do you happen to be alone ? Prospectors rarely go 
out alone. I know, for I've been one myself ; and what is 



244 RHODES : A LIFE 

your name ? ' c My name/ said the prospector, ' is Bill 
Whitely, and I'm alone because my partner was badly 
mauled by a lion some days ago ; but tell me your name/ 
' Oh, that's Rhodes, but never mind that, tell me about 
your partner,' and getting off from his horse he walked along 
with Whitely, whose tale was as follows : About twelve 
days previously he and his partner, Fred Cox, had left 
Salisbury for a few months' prospecting work in the Angwa 
area of Lomagunda district. They took with them the 
usual supplies of tea, coffee, sugar, flour, trading goods for 
natives, etc., making with their blankets loads for ten 
carriers. The two men earned each a Martini-Henry rifle. 
The first night they slept at the Gwibi Eiver, fifteen miles 
out, and next day at van Staden's vlei, and the third night 
reached a small stream just beyond the Umvukwe hills. As 
usual, they made up a good fire, and after supper enjoyed a 
pipe, turning into their blankets between eight and nine 
with their rifles alongside. Being a cold night and with 
plenty of wood around they had a good fire while their 
carriers had another, not so big, around which they were all 
sleeping. Lions were known to be about, so ample wood 
had been laid alongside both fires to be thrown on as they 
died down. All were soon asleep, and it was probably about 
eleven or twelve o'clock when Whitely was awakened by a 
great commotion and jumped up, as did the carriers, who 
promptly threw more wood on the fires. At first Whitely 
didn't grasp what had happened, but he pushed his feet into 
his boots and gave Cox's blankets a kick, calling out, * Get 
up, Fred, there's lions about/ To his astonishment the 
blankets were empty, but before he could t.fa'nTr of anything 
he heard a voice some twenty to thirty yards off calling, 
' For God's sake, Bill, shoot ; a lion's got me and's carrying 
me off/ Whitely, whose hand had grasped his rifle when 
he jumped up, let it off in the direction, ran forward, re- 
loading and firing another two shots and shouting all he 
knew how for the carriers to e Lasela umlilo tjetja silwana 
bambile Fred ' (Throw the burning logs quickly, a lion has 
carried off Fred). This they quickly did, and to his relief, 



DAYS ON THE VELD 245 

after running some thirty yards or so, lie heard Fred calling 
again, ' He's dropped me keep on shooting, keep on shoot- 
ing,' which Bill did till he reached Fred, whom he found 
lying on the ground and bleeding profusely. c I'm done for, 
Bill,' he said. ' Not you,' replied Bill, c we'll see what the 
damage is to begin with,' and Fred was carried back to the 
fire and examined, when it was found he had been very 
badly mauled all along one side from the thighs to shoulder 
and also in one arm. Bill got hot water going in their 
c billies,' and washed and re-washed the wounds, letting them 
bleed freely and squeezing them as much as he dared, for 
Fred was suffering badly from shock. They had no medical 
appliances or remedies of any sort save quinine, which was 
useless under the circumstances. After doing all he could 
to cleanse the wounds and prevent blood poisoning, Bill tore 
up his only two spare shirts, made bandages of them, and 
then set about making a hurdle, which, by cutting down a 
few saplings and using bark to tie them together, he soon 
had ready. He next sought and found a suitable spot in 
the bush in which he put away his supplies, and left two 
boys in charge, which allowed eight for the job of carrying 
Fred to hospital in Salisbury, and which by forced marching 
he hoped to make in thirty-six hours, the distance being 
about forty-five miles. Fortunately, Fred was a lightweight, 
and by using his team in relays of four for no longer than 
half an hour at a time, they reached the hospital in rather 
less time, and Fred was put promptly in the hands of a 
doctor and nurses, but only just in time. Bill stayed near 
by for three or four days, and was then assured that blood 
poisoning had been warded off, largely owing to his hot 
water treatment, and that he could leave his partner behind 
hi with confidence, but, owing to damaged tendons and 
such like, he needn't expect him to be getting about for 
some months. Bill, who had sent back half of his boys 
directly he reached Salisbury to join the two left with their 
outfit, was on his way to pick them up when we overtook 
him. By the time we had heard the story the waggons were 
at our heels and Rhodes said, * Now, Whitely, you must get 



246 EHODBS : A LIFE 

up on one of the waggons and come with us your boys can 
follow ; tell them we'll stay at your old camp to-night, as 
from what you tell us the distance will fit in very well with 
our day's programme.' This was arranged, and on we 
moved. In due course, late in the afternoon, we reached 
Bill's camp, where his other ' boys ' seemed delighted to see 
him. Sitting round the camp fire after dinner, Rhodes, 
as was his usual custom, drew Bill's history from him, 
and we gathered that he was a Londoner who had come to 
South Africa about 1889, having become ' fed-up ' with his 
trade of painter and glazier. He did not fancy a cold coun- 
try and so fixed on the Cape, where he found plenty of work 
of sorts. Evidently possessing an adventurous spirit, he 
worked his way up to Rhodesia, which he reached in 1892, 
and had joined in one or two small prospecting expeditions 
as a ' roustabout ' to gain experience, and some few months 
prior to his meeting us he fixed up a partnership with Fred 
Cox, a very experienced prospector, and there he was ! 

< Well now, Whitely/ said Rhodes, * we must talk of the 
future, but before doing that you must have a c tot ' of the 
best Kummel I've ever tasted. It was a present to me and 
we go slow with it, but we must drink to your good luck.* 
There were no glasses only enamel mugs, into which we 
poured the precious liqueur. Bill treated himself generously, 
then he called out, ' Boy, buyise amauzi * (Boy, bring me 
some water). Rhodes jumped up, * Good Lord, Whitely/ 
he exclaimed, ' you mustn't put water in it. You'll ruin it/ 
' Well, Mr. Rhodes,' said Bill, * you see my inside isn't as 
hardened to it as yours is ! ' This produced a roar of laugh- 
ter, in which Rhodes joined heartily, but Bill took the hint 
and risked the consequences by taking his liqueur neat and 
with evident satisfaction. Then as to his future : said 
Rhodes, ' What have you in mind, Whitely mining, farm- 
ing, or a permanent job at your old trade ? ' ' Never the 
old trade again, Mr. Rhodes. I mean to stick to Tnining. 
At present I'm after the making of enough money to enable 
me to marry the girl I left in London/ * Very good/ said 
Rhodes, c the first thing for you to do is to find a mine, and 



DAYS ON THE VELD 247 

when you do that to open it up a bit and then come with it 
to McDonald, and if he likes it we'll take it over from you 
at a fair price and your wish can be fulfilled. Mind you let 
me know when you are going to get married, and I will give 
your wife a present and you a gold watch and chain to re- 
mind you of your adventure at this spot. And now it is 
time for bed, but to-morrow morning before we part I will 
give you an order on the B.T.A. Stores for six months' sup- 
plies for you and Cox/ We bade good-bye to Bill in the 
morning, and wished him luck, which came his way, for a 
year later his wife got a cheque for a hundred pounds from 
Rhodes and Bill the gold watch and chain promised him, 
for, having found a payable property, he was able to dispose 
of it and get home to marry his ' girl. 9 Bill's career has been 
a somewhat chequered one since, but he is still prospecting 
for another good mine and managing to keep his head well 
above water, so good luck to him. 



CHAPTEK XXI 
FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 

WHEN Rhodes realised, in July 1896, that the fighting of the 
Matabele rebels had developed into guerilla warfare which 
might be prolonged indefinitely, he made up his -mind that 
he would do what he could to get into touch with their 
leaders and see whether he could not bring about peace by 
other methods, but there was considerable difficulty in doing 
so and he gave much consideration to the subject. After 
many discussions with General Sir Frederick Carrington and 
Colonel Plumer (now Lord Plumer), who were in command 
of our fighting forces, he obtained their permission, most 
reluctantly I may say, to endeavour to enter into negotia- 
tions with the rebels, and he set about this in his usual 
energetic fashion. We felt sure that if a white man ap- 
proached them he would be shot down before he was able 
to explain his object. None of the loyal Matabele who 
were with us would face it ; and we made no progress for 
the first few days. 

One morning, when discussing the difficulty, an official 
of the Native Department, Mr. J. P. Richardson, rode 
up to our camp and said he had been told by some of 
his native scouts that the rebels were tiring of fighting, 
and hearing of our proposals he had found a man who 
would undertake the job, risky though it was, of going 
to their encampment, and he had him at hand if Rhodes 
cared to see him. He was sent for at once, and we found 
him to be a native of the Tembu tribe of the Cape Colony. 
He was a powerfully built man of perhaps twenty-five years 
of age, John Grootboom by name, and could talk English 

248 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 249 

and Matabele quite well. He had done a lot of fighting 
with our troops, and had time and again shown the greatest 
courage, and if ever any man deserved the description, 
* brave as a lion,' John Grootboom did. Rhodes told him 
what he wanted, and asked if he was ready to face the 
danger. * Yes,' said Grootboom, * I am not afraid of the 
Matabele, and though they know I have killed many of them 
lately I am sure when they find I bring messages from you 
they will listen to me. I shall get ready to go off to-night 
and will do all my travelling in the dark, for the Matabele 
don't like to move about then, and I can lie quiet in the day 
and watch what they are doing.' He asked us to have ready 
for him a pair of field glasses, and after talking matters over 
with Richardson and Colenbrander he went off to put up 
enough food for a few days and get a blanket, and promised 
to come back late in the afternoon to get Rhodes's instruc- 
tions. Before sundown he was in our camp again and 
brought a Xosa native, by name N'Yatikazi, with him, who 
he said had agreed to accompany him. Meanwhile a native 
follower of Colenbrander expressed a wish to join hi also. 
This pleased Rhodes, as he thought it increased the safety 
of hia emissary. 

After getting his instructions Grootboom was about to 
make a start when Rhodes said, c I will reward you well, 
Grootboom, and the other two boys also, but in case none 
of you come back you must tell me what I can do for 
your people and where they live.' These particulars were 
duly recorded, and off the three stalwarts went without 
a firearm of any sort. For a considerable part of the way 
they were accompanied by Mr. Richardson, who had ex- 
pressed himself willing to go into the HITa with them and 
share their risks, but Rhodes would not hear of this ; besides, 
it was felt that even if the chiefs did no harm to him, he 
might render Grootboom's work more difficult. 

Five days passed and they had not returned, and we began 
to fear the worst, but on the sixth all three came back in 
very good spirits, especially Grootboom. * Well,' said Rhodes, 
* what is the answer ? ' ' It is all right, Sir,' replied Groot- 



260 RHODES : A LIFE 

boom ; c many of the chiefs are not there, but some of the 
biggest are and they will meet you and three other white men, 
but no more, in the morning of the day after to-morrow at 
Umlugulu, if you will all g6 with no guns or arms of any 
kind.' 

Asked how he got into contact with the rebels, Groot- 
boom stated that after travelling towards the fires of their 
many camps for the greater part of a night, they reached 
a stream about daybreak and decided to go into hiding for 
the rest of the day as the country was well wooded. They 
had not been long there when they heard voices and two old 
women passed by and went on to the water. Listening to 
what they were talking of, it was found to be mostly of their 
own hunger and that of their people generally, and Groot- 
boom judged they were tiring of the fighting, so he decided 
to show himself and speak to them as they returned. This 
he did, and after allaying their suspicions and giving them 
some of his none too plentiful food, he asked them to tell 
the chiefs of the presence of himself and his two companions 
and what had brought them there. If the matter was 
favourably received a messenger bearing a white flag (which 
he tore off his shirt and gave them) was to come to a 
spot he indicated and show it, when they would go there 
and meet the chiefs. They would wait, he said, for four 
days if necessary, and if no white flag appeared by then they 
would go back to Rhodes and fighting would begin again, 
and many more big guns would be used. They could tell the 
chiefs that if they listened to Rhodes he was sure he would 
settle their grievances and stop all fighting at once. On the 
fourth day the flag was seen at the spot selected, and on 
investigation it was found to be tied to a stake but no native 
appeared to be about. This did not discourage Grootboom, 
who judged the chiefs suspected an ambush and were doubt- 
less watching happenings from the bush. So he went back 
to his own hiding-place and picked up his companions and 
their little belongings and moved over and set up his camp 
by the flag, moving about freely, but with no result that day. 
Next morning, however, he was visited by a very old woman, 



FURTHER DATS ON THE VELD 251 

who said the chiefs had sent her to say they would come and 
see him at noon, which they did, and after several hours of 
talk Grootboom was able to arrange a meeting between 
Rhodes and the chiefs. 

The latter's insistence that not more than four should 
be in any party that came out to meet them caused much 
disappointment to some of us, as we realised certain of 
our number would be unable to attend what could not 
be other than a historic conference. In the end Rhodes 
fixed on Dr. Sauer, a very old friend of his, Johan Colen- 
brander, and Mr. Vere Stent. Mr. Richardson was greatly 
disappointed that he could not go, and so was Rhodes, 
for he felt that Richardson had done much to bring things 
to the point they had now reached, but the chiefs it 
seemed had specially asked that Colenbrander should be the 
interpreter chosen, and that settled the matter. Mr. Stent 
was an intelligence officer in Plumer's force and represented 
the Press, and it was thought he ought to be present to write 
an account of the proceedings. Early in the morning the 
small party left our camp, Grimmer and I going with them 
for some miles and off-saddling at a convenient spot to await 
their return. In some three hours they were back, highly 
pleased with the result of the indaba, and told us that peace 
was practically assured and that those chiefs present had 
agreed to call a big meeting of all the others, who had not 
been there, in a week's time, at a point much further in the 
hills. At this future meeting they desired to have a very 
full discussion over the troubles that had given rise to the 
rebellion. ' Now/ said Rhodes on his return from the first 
indaba, 'what can I give you as a reward, Grootboom, 
for you have done a great work for me ? ' f I would like 
a horse, with saddle and bridle, Sir/ replied Grootboom. 
* You shall have much more than that,' said Rhodes ; but 
Grootboom would not hear of anything further. c Now that 
the fighting is all over, I am going north,' he said, c to 
Barotseland, where I promised to help the missionaries, and 
I may never come back.' Rhodes would not listen to his 
refusal, however, and said, ' I should have liked you to come 



252 REODES : A LIFE 

and work on one of my farms, Grootboom, but I will not 
hinder you from going to the missionaries, for they do good 
work and I am sure your help will be of great service to 
them/ Turning to me, he said, c McDonald, make a note to 
give Grootboom at any time he asks for it a hundred acres 
of land, a waggon, a span of oxen, twelve cows, a horse, and 
a hundred pounds. You hear that, Grootboom ? ' ' Yes, 
thank you, Groot Baas, and if I ever want such things I will 
go to Baas McDonald.' Two days afterwards this sturdy 
fighter and the best all-round native I ever met set off for 
the north, and I have never heard of him again, although 
I have made endless inquiries. A year or two afterwards 
when Rhodes was very ill with one of his heart attacks he 
scribbled to me in pencil : * Dear McDonald, don't forget 
about Grootboom. He did a fine bit of work for me. See 
he gets his reward. Yrs., C. J. Rhodes.' 

John Grootboom's case is carefully recorded in the office 
of the Rhodes Trust, and he will be fully paid if he ever 
comes to claim fulfilment of the promise made to him, as I 
remain hopeful he will one day. As soon as it could be 
arranged afterwards, the two other ' boys ' were each given 
a span of oxen and a waggon, worth to each two hundred 
pounds, with which they were hugely delighted. The pluck 
exhibited by these three natives appealed very greatly to 
Rhodes, who frequently told of it to visitors in later days 
as an instance showing the high courage some of the 
natives possessed. 

Directly we got back to our camp we began packing 
up, and next day turned off towards the spot fixed for 
the greater indaba. Dr. Sauer, owing to family affairs, 
was obliged to return to Bulawayo, from where he had 
to proceed to Cape Town without delay, and we bade him 
good-bye with much regret, for his presence in our camp 
had added greatly to its cheeriness. Mr. Stent had to attend 
to other duties and went back to his quarters in the field 
force camp. Our party was therefore considerably reduced 
for the time being. Colonel Plumer, who was in close touch 
with General Carrington, insisted on moving his troops and 



FURTHER DAYS osr THE VELD 253 

keeping close behind us. This did not please Rhodes, who 
wished to show the chiefs he had interviewed that he had 
complete confidence in their promise that, until matters had 
been fully discussed at the big indaba, they would refrain 
from fighting, and he feared they might misunderstand the 
movement of Plumer's forces. Eventually he was able to 
arrange that these did not pitch camp nearer to us than four 
miles. It had been agreed at the first indaba, as it came to 
be called, that all those present at the second, whether of 
Rhodes's or the Matabele party, should carry no arms, and 
it had been further arranged that Rhodes could bring six 
others with him. The evening before the meeting brought 
us a surprise through Mrs. Colenbrander, a woman of great 
force of character who had lived most of her life adventuring 
with her husband in the wilds, turning up at our camp with 
her sister. They had ridden from Bulawayo and forced their 
way through Plumer's lines to us. It appeared that 
Mrs. Colenbrander had been warned by one of her old native 
servants that the natives meant treachery at the conning 
indaba, and she came out to warn her husband and the rest 
of us. Both Rhodes and Colenbrander pooh-poohed the idea 
and said it was all nonsense, but it was finally arranged to 
let Plumer know that there might be such a possibility, and 
if at the end of four hours from the time fixed for the meet- 
ing we had not sent him a message saying all was well, it 
would be advisable to send out mounted scouts to see what 
was happening. 

Next morning Rhodes and Colenbrander, with Mrs. Colen- 
brander and her sister, both of whom insisted on being with 
him, Grimmer and myself six in all set out on horseback 
for the meeting-place, distant something like a mile and a 
half from our camp. On the way we were caught up by 
Colenbrander's faithful assistant, Kemmy Armstrong, who 
was almost as good a man with the natives as his chief. 
Some twenty natives or so were visible when we reached the 
spot, and these were unarmed, but as we rode inside the circle 
of granite hills we were suddenly surrounded by quite 500 
Matabele warriors all fully armed. * Stick to your horses/ 



254 RHODES : A LIFE 

shouted Colenbrander, ' there is treachery about 9 ; but to 
this Rhodes paid no attention, riding right in amongst them 
despite earnest and strenuous protests from Colenbrander. 
6 What is this ? ' said Rhodes. * How am I to trust you ? 
You asked me to meet you with my friends and wished us 
to come unarmed, saying you would carry none either, and 
what do I find ? Five hundred and more fully armed 
warriors. Until you lay your guns and assegais down, and 
I order you to do so, all of you, I decline to discuss any 
matter with you at all. 5 On all sides of us were to be seen 
angry looks, whilst unpleasant mutterings were heard, but 
Rhodes was adamant, and turning to some of the older 
chiefs he inquired if they no longer possessed authority over 
their fighting men. To that they replied that since the 
death of Lobengula the younger men had become very hard 
to handle and were getting more and more so. 'Do not 
permit it,' said Rhodes, * I will see to it that your authority 
is fully established again. Tell these men to lay down their 
arms at once or we shall go back and the war will go on.' 
These remarks had an immediate effect on the chiefs, and 
they adopted a very much stronger attitude and now went 
among their followers issuing commands, while Rhodes 
walked up to a boulder in the midst of them and sat down 
on it. 

The others of us, who had all remained on our horses, 
were amazed at the way he had handled the position and 
carried on the conversation in Matabele with no aid from 
anyone, though in his usual halting style. We now dis- 
mounted, still feeling very uncomfortable, but in less than 
ten minutes great shouts of ' U-Rhodes, Inkosi N'kulu, Baba 
yami ' (Rhodes, the Great Chief, our Father), filled the circle 
and down went all arms. Rhodes then asked Colenbrander 
to tell them that, as his knowledge of their language was 
none too good, he would talk to them through him. He said 
that he was now aware that they had a number of grievances 
which called for redress, but why, he asked, had they not 
come to him to have them put right instead of rebelling and 
murdering scores of innocent people ? ' You have deterio- 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 255 

rated to the level of hyenas and jackals, 5 he said, ' by Trilling 
women and children, and if there is any man here to-day 
who is guilty of such a crime let him leave this meeting at 
once, for I will not remain in his company/ * There are none 
such here/ was the reply ; ' we are none of us curs nor wolves, 
so let the Tnkosi speak to us/ ' It is well/ said Rhodes, 
' for such men must be sought for and punished ; the Great 
Queen who has sent a few of her many soldiers to this 
country, which she is now going to protect, will never rest till 
every murderer is caught and hanged/ e It is what such 
dogs deserve/ was the reply. For the next hour or two the 
chiefs set out all their troubles very fully and were listened 
to very carefully by Rhodes, who put a number of searching 
questions to them, pointing out occasionally how many of 
the grievances were due to their own neglect in failing to see 
the commissioners resident in the various districts for the 
settling of such matters. ' But/ said they, ' it was your 
long absence after Lobengula's death that made us all un- 
settled. Now you have come back to us again all things are 
clear and we are your children and will not go astray again/ 
Rhodes then said, ' Are all the chiefs here ? ' This question 
seemed to disturb them very considerably, and one of them 
replied, ' No, father of ours, Holi, Mapisa, Mabisa, and N'jalu 
would not come with us ; they are still seeing blood and do 
not wish for peace/ Asking where they lived, Rhodes said, 
* I know Holi, he married a daughter of Lobengula. I am 
hurt that he should not come to meet me. Tell h and the 
others who are with him that I shall go to their kraals and 
remain there till they come out and talk to me/ * It is 
well, king of ours/ was the reply, 'they will soon meet 
you and yield to you/ Holi, it may be said, was a powerful 
chief, and though none too prepossessing in his manner, a 
man whose word once given could be thoroughly relied upon. 
The others mentioned were subordinate to hi and his word 
was their law. ' And now/ said Rhodes, ' is it peace ? ' 'It 
is peace indeed, Great Chief. Our eyes are no longer red, 
we now look at you with white eyes Ah yeh, Ah yeh, 
Lamula N'Kunzi (Hail separator of the Fighting Bulls), 



256 RHODES : A LIFE 

Lanrala N'Kunzi/ shouted all of them. Again and again 
was 'Lamula N'Kunzi* shouted till the hills echoed and 
re-echoed to the name by which Rhodes was ever afterwards 
known to them. The older chiefs then approached and said, 
* We have found a father, a friend, and a protector ; we put 
our trust in you, Lamula N'Kunzi, and in all our troubles 
we shall come to you.' * I shall not fail you/ was the 
answer; 'you are my children, and I or my council 
(government) will protect you always. Have no misgivings. 
We have met and made a lasting peace, I hope. My 
people will adhere to the agreement we have drawn up, and 
I trust you and yours will also. There is a matter I have 
already spoken of to you, and it is one I must make quite 
clear to you. If any of you here present or others elsewhere 
are found to have committed murders they will be arrested 
and given fair trial, and if proved guilty they will undoubtedly 
pay the penalty, and that will be death by hanging. Killing 
in fighting when we were enemies was a different matter, 
and that is now all done with, but we mean to trace if we 
can the men who committed the many murders which took 
place when you revolted. We must put them to trial.' 
This was accepted by the Matabele present as fair and just, 
and they were asked to let it be known throughout the 
territory. 

With great shouting of 'Baba,' 'Inkosi,' 'Lamula 
N'Kunzi,' the indaba came to an end, and then they rushed 
among us, the whole crowd of warriors, begging us to give 
them salt, tobacco, food, etc. All their troubles were for- 
gotten, and on that day the whole of Matabeleland, save a 
patch in the hills occupied by Holi, became as safe to 
travel through as any English county. As Rhodes said, the 
Matabele knew how to behave. 

The return to our camp was a triumphal procession, for 
practically all the warriors came with us shouting and singing, 
and Colonel Plumer was soon aware of the success Rhodes 
had achieved. We gave them all the salt and tobacco we 
could spare, and they left us with the most friendly ex- 
pressions. Next day we moved our camp and travelled, as 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 257 

Rhodes put it, towards the door of Holi's kraal, where we 
had to wait much longer than any of us ever expected before 
we gained his submission. That is dealt with elsewhere, 
however. Having selected a good spot for our camp, Rhodes 
let it be known that it was c open house ' to all or any of 
the chiefs who might care to come and visit Trim, and this 
hospitality was taken very full advantage of during the 
weeks following, when we were waiting for Holi to yield. 1 

Some of us, I for one, were glad of the rest, and I 
think Rhodes was too, and yet he seemed the fittest, 
though he was six years older (he was then forty-two) than 
any of us, Colenbrander being nearest to him. We called 
him ' The Old Man,' and this amused him very much, and 
he used to say, ' The Old Man can hold his own with any of 
you.' His correspondence was greatly in arrears, Grimmer, 
delightful fellow as he was, being quite hopeless as a secre- 
tary, so he telegraphed for Philip Jourdan, who had been his 
private secretary when he was Prime Minister of the Cape, 
to come up and join him. Jourdan, who came from an old 
settled Dutch family in the Cape, was a most charming young 
fellow, and Rhodes was exceedingly fond of him. He was a 
great acquisition to our small party. Sir Charles Metcalfe, 
who had gone south to push the railway forward, rode into 
our camp one day, and Rhodes was delighted to see him 
again, for his genial wit, at times somewhat caustic, kept us 
all on the alert, and as Rhodes said kept us from rusting. 

At this time, although he knew he had not long to live, 
Rhodes's energy was phenomenal. It seemed as though 
the risk of being murdered any night by one of Holi's men 
added to his zest for life and acted as an exhilarating tonic. 
He rode unarmed each morning from six o'clock until nearly 
noon in the rugged, lonely hills, never seeming to weary 
even when the sun was high, and several of those in his com. 

1 1 may say here that I had already described this historic incident 
and several smaller ones to Sir Lewis Michell for his Life of Rhodes, 
and they were used by him in that work, as I desired they should be. 
In some instances I have probably given them rather more fully in 
this book. 

M.O.K. B 



258 EHODES : A LIFE 

pany became quite worn out by the strain. During one of 
these rides Ehodes came across the somewhat peculiar hill 
well inside the Matopos which he described as ' A view of 
the World/ where he then and there decided he would like 
to be buried, as I shall presently relate. 

After a ride he would hurry over his breakfast and begin 
talking to the visiting chiefs right through the heat of the 
day, till towards sundown the horses were saddled and he 
would ride again. Even after dinner he still talked with the 
chiefs, who frequently remained overnight, listening to their 
troubles and helping them to become reinstated in their 
positions once more. I do not think that any other man 
could have done what he achieved at this time, by extra- 
ordinary patience coupled with extreme energy. His in- 
stinctive knowledge of the native mind was now of immense 
value. Sometimes he found it necessary to talk to them 
rather severely, but this done with he would turn the con- 
versation into friendly lines and his face would beam all 
over when he had got the better of them in argument. 

A somewhat unpleasant incident happened, which might 
have had serious consequences, soon after the second in- 
daba. The party which had left Bulawayo for the Matopos 
to try to get into communication with the rebels consisted 
of Rhodes, Dr. Sauer, who had to leave us after the first 
indaba, Jack Grimmer, Johan W. Colenbrander, and myself. 
Colenbrander came with us as guide and interpreter. He 
had spent some two years as Rhodes's agent at Lobengula's 
Court and had done that business remarkably well. He was 
a fine type of pioneer, a man of vast energy and the best 
native linguist I ever knew, and spoke the Matabele lan- 
guage so well that after dark no native of that tribe could 
distinguish him from one of themselves. We all liked 
c Johan * (the name he was known to the natives by) very 
much ; he was so cheery and ready to help us in every- 
thing, besides being a splendid hunter, in which connec- 
tion he contributed greatly to the upkeep of the larder. 
The headquarters staff of the Field Force rather resented 
our intrusion, as they termed it, into their sphere of action, 



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FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 259 

and it was decided that our small party should keep 
clear of Plumer's forces, which were extended along the 
north side .of the centre section of the Matopos, and we 
eventually made our first camp some five miles N.E. of 
where Plumer was encamped. After the first indaba we 
moved some twenty miles S.W. and further into the hills. 
Plumer also shifted camp and established a fresh base some 
four miles N.E. of ours. Rhodes was determined to be free 
of military surveillance, and he felt, as was doubtless the 
case, that the rebels would feel more freedom in coming to 
visit him if no soldiers were about. Carrington and Plumer 
greatly disliked his being so far away from their troops, and 
pointed out that if our small lot were annihilated the respon- 
sibility would be put on them, but Rhodes managed to 
overcome their objections and we were allowed to pitch our 
camp where we chose, provided it was not advanced further 
than six miles from the base force. Finding a suitable site, 
and having fixed up everything in regard to promises made 
at the second indaba, we settled down for a rest after the 
strenuous time we had gone through, but on the fourth day 
Colenbrander was called out by a couple of native headmen, 
who somewhat excitedly told him that the Queen's soldiers 
had committed the worst of crimes they had discovered 
the grave of M'Ziligazi, the first King of the Matabele, 
broken into it, dug all the ground up near by and desecrated 
the tomb in a disgraceful fashion. And, not content with 
that, they had also broken into a cave adjoining in which 
were stored all that king's private belongings, which had been 
buried near him, and had taken many things away. The 
chiefs, said the two headmen, were very perturbed and feared 
for the worst, as their people would think our troops had 
done this as they were afraid of the spirit of M'Ziligazi and 
desired to drive it away, and that the outrage had been 
sanctioned by Rhodes and his Generals. A deputation of 
ten, they added, was coming to discuss the affair with Rhodes 
in the morning, and Colenbrander was a good deal worried 
over the business. Rhodes and he at once had their horses 
saddled up and rode over to see Colonel Plumer about 



260 RHODES : A LIFE 

it. An inquiry was promptly instituted, and it was found 
that a party of Ms men who had been given permission to 
go shooting had unfortunately acted as reported by the 
headmen, who had exaggerated nothing. Steps were at once 
taken to deal with the offenders, and Rhodes and Colen- 
brander returned to our camp and the headmen were sent 
back to meet the .deputation of chiefs to tell them that 
everything possible would be done by Rhodes to restore 
the tomb, and that he would go to it with them and see 
what damage had been done and be advised by them as to 
having everything put into order again. 

Next morning the deputation arrived, and we found the 
members none too friendly. After eating some food, how- 
ever, they thawed somewhat, and we set out for the hill on 
which the grave was situated, c N'tumbani ' by name. It 
was distant about six miles from our camp and it took us 
some time to get there, as there was no footpath and the going 
was heavy. Just before we started, Mr. H. J. Taylor, the 
newly appointed Chief Native Commissioner (now Sir Herbert 
Taylor) arrived to see Rhodes, and he was taken with us, as 
it was realised that his presence would give further confi- 
dence to the natives. As we approached the spot we found 
hundreds of natives, armed and unarmed, had turned up, all 
of them being much excited. Rhodes asked the chiefs to 
bring them into an open spot where he could address all of 
them, which he did on this occasion through Colenbrander. 
He asked them to be calm, said he was going up to the grave 
to see what damage had been caused, and that everything 
possible would be done to put things right, and if they waited 
patiently for an hour or so he would come back and talk to 
them again. This they promised to do, and we at once set 
off to walk up the hill, which rose sharply from the plain. A 
fine view was obtainable from the top : to the north and 
west lay the great high plateau of Matabeleland, and to the 
east the fine, fertile valley of the Umzingwane, while the 
south showed great rugged granite hills towering above each 
other in the far distance and here M'Ziligazi had chosen 
to be buried. 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 261 

Rhodes pulled up and looked round. Talking to himself 
more than to us, he said, ' Here lies a man who must have 
possessed great vision, a man of imagination and brains, but 
for such a type there is never any peace and it has not fol- 
lowed him even to his grave, which is worthy of him/ Just 
by us stood some seven or eight high boulders under a some- 
what curiously shaped massive cap of granite, and inside this 
M'Ziligazi had been put to rest, sitting upright in a stone 
chair. The entrances three in number had been closely 
filled up with broken granite, and two of these had been 
pulled down by the marauders. All round the tomb a 
circular wall of granite had been built, and this had been 
badly knocked about, and the ground between it and the 
tomb dug up in all directions in the hope of treasure being 
found. Fortunately, the body of the king had not been 
badly disturbed, but the skull was resting on the thigh 
bones, and Rhodes asked the chiefs how he could help them 
to have everything put in order to their liking. Before 
replying, they said they wished him to visit the large cave 
at the foot of the hill on the south-west side where all the 
old king's belongings had been placed, and there we pro- 
ceeded. It was a big cave running for a long distance into 
a small granite hill and had been closely walled up with 
stone-work, but it was now in a state of the utmost con- 
fusion. An entrance had been made by tearing down the 
wall, and the contents of the cave wete strewn in mad con- 
fusion everywhere around. Broken-up waggons, carriages, 
furniture, crockery, glassware, articles of every description 
looted by the old warrior and given him by traders and 
hunters as presents had been placed there at his burial to 
be available for fa on his uprising, and now they were 
smashed up and strewn all over the floor of the cave in the 
vain hunt for treasure. Rhodes was as angry over the de- 
struction and the possible effects it might have had as I ever 
saw him, and spoke strongly on the subject, saying he was 
sure no one would be more troubled than Colonel Pluxner. 
Meanwhile he had to consider how to placate the indignant 
natives, and again consulted with the chiefs and Colenbrander 



262 RHODES : A LIFE 

and Taylor. The chiefs then withdrew and went over to 
the waiting assembly, which we were soon asked to join so 
as to listen to their proposals. They were satisfied, they 
said, that Rhodes had no hand in the desecration. It was 
a shameful action, but if proper sacrifices were made, all 
might yet be well with the spirit of M'Ziligazi. We must 
see to it that no white man came near the place for many 
months. They would build up the tomb and the cave them- 
selves, and after their purification we must provide ten black 
oxen for sacrifice to the spirits of M'Ziligazi and of those 
who had joined him. We should also provide food for the 
men engaged on the work. Rhodes readily agreed to all 
their proposals, but asked if he and two others could visit 
the tomb again that afternoon as he wished to look once 
more on M'Ziligazi. He would also like to visit it when the 
work was finished and the sacrifice had been made. This 
the chiefs agreed to, and after Colenbrander and Taylor had 
made short addresses expressing Rhodes's regret and sym- 
pathy, we returned to camp and sent word to Plumer of the 
outcome. In the afternoon Rhodes, Colenbrander, and a 
doctor whom we had been able to secure from the base camp 
rode to the tomb again, Rhodes's object being to have 
M'Ziligazi's brain capacity examined, as he thought, owing 
to the greatness of his character and work, that it would be 
large, but to our surprise it turned out to be smaller than 
that generally to be found in male natives. In this case it 
was evidently quality and not quantity that counted ! 
M'Ziligazi was undoubtedly a ' big ' man. He had revolted 
from the great King of the Zulus, Chaka, attaching to him- 
self a large following which he led by degrees from Zululand 
to Matabeleland, leaving behind him a trail of murder and 
rapine that has few to parallel it in history. Driven out of 
the Transvaal by the Boers, he pushed steadily north till he 
reached Matabeleland, which he conquered with no great 
difficulty. He was a man of great stature, and was capri- 
ciously cheerful and good-natured and cruel and despotic 
by turns. He was visited by the Rev. Robert Moffat, father 
of John Moffat, soon after he settled at Bulawayo, and the 



FURTHER DATS ON THE VELD 263 

two became very great friends, and no doubt his son, Loben- 
gula, never forgot this during the many occasions on which 
John Moffat resided at his kraal. It may be of interest to 
mention that M'Ziligazi died in 1868, and for nearly a year 
a number of his indunas went searching for his eldest son, 
Kuruman, whom he had driven out of the country for dis- 
obedience. It was eventually fully proved that he died in 
Swaziland, and in 1869 his second son, Lobengula, was in- 
stalled with great ceremony and prolonged celebrations as 
his successor. 

Three weeks after, when the work of restoration had been 
completed, we rode over once more and found everything in 
good order and the bones of the oxen that had been sacri- 
ficed placed round the outer circle of stone enclosing the 
tomb. It is quite possible, I think, that a gift of another 
ten oxen from Rhodes to the chiefs for a feast when they 
had placated the spirit helped towards the friendly settle- 
ment that was effected, but for some time there was a 
distinctly unpleasant feeling about, and we all felt more 
comfortable when this disappeared. 

Among the indunas with whom Rhodes talked at this 
time was a very finely built, handsome and striking-looking 
young man of probably some thirty years of age, named 
M'Levu. We were all greatly taken with him, his manners 
were of a high order, and he was clearly looked on by his 
nation as one of its big men. Rhodes took a liking to him 
at once and invited him to return with us to our camp, 
which he did. He remained there for three days and 
appealed to all of us by his kindly, willing, and pleasant 
ways. He seemed rather moody at times, but when Rhodes 
was about he cheered up and looked happy. In many 
small questions, arising out of the larger ones that had 
been settled, he gave excellent advice, and in various ways 
we gained a lot of information from him. One morning he 
came up to Rhodes and said he must now go back to his 
people, who would be wondering why he was delaying. 
The district under his chieftainship was known as Insiza 
and was distant about sixty miles from our camp. All of 



264 RHODES : A LIFE 

us were sorry he was leaving, and we saw that he was well 
provided with food, as were his four attendants, and he took 
with hi a number of small presents such as pipes, tobacco, 
a suit of new clothes, a hat, and a pair of boots. 

Giving us all a cheery farewell, his last words were to 
Rhodes, whom he begged to be a father to the Matabele 
nation and to stand by them at all times, which Rhodes, 
who was somewhat moved by the man's evident sincerity, 
faithfully promised to do. About three weeks later a special 
messenger from the Chief Native Commissioner arrived at 
our camp with a message for Rhodes saying he had arrested 
M'Levu for active participation in certain murders of a very 
brutal nature which had occurred at the beginning of the 
rebellion. A doctor, his wife, and their two children living 
in the Insiza district had been seized by a small force of 
rebels ; their heads had been battered to pulp with stones, 
and it was beyond doubt that M'Levu had been one of those 
who actually committed the murders. Rhodes was much 
distressed, but replied that the law must take its course. 
He would see, he said, that good legal assistance would be 
afforded to M'Levu, but if he was proved guilty he could 
not urge that the death penalty should not be inflicted. 

In due course M'Levu was tried ; he declined to plead, 
and though ably defended, was found guilty and sentenced 
by the judge to be hanged. The penalty was to be enforced 
about twenty days later, for all death sentences had to be 
submitted for consideration to the High Commissioner before 
being acted on. M'Levu made no remark and was led back 
to his cell. There he asked to see Johan Colenbrander, who 
had known him well when he ruled over the Insiza district. 
When Colenbrander arrived M'Levu said to him, ' Take my 
words to U'Rhodes ' (the native way of handling his name) 
* and tell him to be just and fair to my people and they will 
be staunch to him. Had he been near us at the time of 
our trouble there would have been no murderings, no 
rebellion ; we did not know to whom to go for redress 
for our grievances save to him, and he had been long 
away from us. Now he has come back and made all 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 265 

things clear to us. Those are my words to U'Bhodes. 
Hamba guhle, Johan * (Go in peace, Johan). c Hlala 
guhle, M'Levu ' (May peace be with you, M'Levu), replied 
Colenbrander. IVom then onwards M'Levu spoke to no one 
and died from sheer will to do so, apparently, fifteen days 
after. Rhodes never failed over the trust that had been 
reposed in him by this native chief, and made immediate 
arrangements for the appointment of well-trained men as 
District Native Commissioners who would listen to and 
settle the many grievances that constantly arose among the 
native tribes. * They are only children yet,' he would often 
say, c and we must remember that and treat them accord- 
ingly till the time arrives when they will become able to 
deal with their own local affairs, as they will in due course.' 
Among the many native visitors to our camp in the 
Matopos in 1896 was Babayan, a well-known councillor of 
Lobengula, whom he accompanied in his flight and helped 
to bury when he died. Babayan possessed an able if 
crafty character and had been a big force politically among 
the Matabele for very many years. In 1888, he was one 
of the two chiefs chosen by Lobengula to go home on the 
mission to Queen Victoria, and Babayan's tales of his London 
experiences were of a most amusing nature. To be taken 
from an ordinary native hut and accommodated at the 
Golden Cross Hotel in Trafalgar Square, and unable to speak 
a word of English, must have been somewhat trying in many 
ways to a man who had never possessed a pair of trousers 
or a coat, and whose shirt had been a softened goat-skin. 
Fortunately, the two delegates, who were, as we know, 
accompanied by Mr. E. A. Maund, had been put in charge 
of Johan Colenbrander. Colenbrander was born and edu- 
cated in Natal and was an able and most interesting 
man in every way, and handled the Matabele delegates 
admirably, taking them through all sorts of functions 
most successfully. We asked Babayan what had interested 
him most. "The endless stream of people/ he replied; 
* there was never a beginning to them nor an end ; all day 
and all night they were rushing hither and thither just 



266 RHODES : A LIFE 

like myriads of ants. It tired my eyes to watch them.* 
After that the sea was the next big thing to him. ' It can- 
not be talked about,' he said ; ' I dare not tell my people, 
for if I told them that such a thing existed they would say 
I was lying.' 

He went to Windsor Castle at the Queen's command, 
and was presented by her with a large gold bangle inscribed 
* Babayan, from the Queen V.R.I.' This he still wore, and 
he exhibited it to us, remarking one day, while shaking his 
head sadly, ' There is no weight in it ' ! He was also given 
a walking-stick, which he had lost on leaving the boat, and 
one or two other presents, including a few toilet articles, 
which on the way back he stealthily dropped from the kit- 
bag he had been provided with. The railway ended at 
Kimberley in those days, and he had to walk or ride a very 
thin pony alongside the ox-waggon sent to meet them, from 
there to Bulawayo, a distance of nearly 800 miles ; and as 
they approached their own country, the two of them dis- 
carded their European clothing, he told us, as, if they had 
arrived wearing it, they would have been accused of being 
disloyal to the traditions of their nation. Babayan said he 
disliked parting with his nice clothes very much, and going 
back to skins and a kaross again, but it had to be done, and 
they disposed of their London outfits in Khama's country 
for good value, I am sure, for Babayan was very cute over 
business of this sort. On arriving at Lobengula's kraal, 
again accompanied by Maund, they presented the gifts the 
Queen had sent him, including a large photograph of herself. 
The articles had been rather badly chosen for the rough 
travel they had to undergo in the waggon and many of them 
were damaged, and Lobengula was far from pleased until he 
heard that the Queen was likely to send out three of her 
finest soldiers (Life Guards) in a few months with her con- 
sidered answer to his request, and many additional presents 
besides. Asked if he told Lobengula and his Council of their 
adventures in London and en route, Babayan said : e No, I 
had my reputation to think about. Had I told them of the 
many wonderful things I saw, all would have said, " He is 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 267 

lying, the wind has got into his head." I might even have 
been killed. They were jealous of me because I was the 
Chief Councillor of the King, so neither of us told anything 
that all could not believe.' Grinning cheerfully, he chuckled 
and then said : c They are mostly a stupid lot, my people ; 
they even believe in witchcraft, which I know to be moon- 
shine, but it is well to humour them. It is wise always to 
say what pleases people. Sometimes, too, it is a good thing 
to make a gift to one's friend. It swells his heart. Does 
Mr. Rhodes know that in these bad times I no longer possess 
a pipe or tobacco, nor do I have a big coat to protect me 
from the cold ? The Queen would be unhappy if she knew.' 
Of course the old scamp gained his desires. 

At the beginning ~of the rebellion he had remained on the 
fence, and thinking things were going against the whites, 
as it at first appeared, he made one of his few blunders and 
joined the rebels, but soon discovering his mistake he escaped 
from their headquarters at Mulungwane, came to our camp 
and quite cheerfully said, ' Here I am come to help you to 
beat sense into my people they are mad to have turned 
against you and the end will be their utter defeat. 9 * That's 
all very well,' we answered, ' but how did you come to join 
them ? ' * I was foolish,' he replied, ' but when I saw there 
would soon be nothing but empty stomachs I deserted them 
quickly. Very shortly they will be saying, " Babayan is the 
wise man." ' After he had been with us for some fourteen 
days we suggested that he'd better go back to his kraal, 
which was no longer in the area occupied by the rebels, and 
see what had happened there, adding that he could come to 
us at a later date for another visit. This, however, did not 
please him at all, but we pointed out that the chiefs who 
had remained loyal, and who were coming and going to our 
camp all the time, did not altogether like his lengthened 
stay with us and that he'd better go. ' Do not bother about 
them,' he said ; ' when the rebel dogs hear that Babayan is 
eating the best of food and waxing fat again, they will begin 
to doubt the wisdom of their action and this will bring the 
end much nearer. You will be doing the right thing to treat 



268 EHODES : A LIFE 

Babayan well and let him stay on as your guest.' As Rhodes 
pointed out, the argument was sound, so we said no more. 
So plausible was the cunning old man (he must have been 
close on seventy) that he quickly overcame the dislike the 
loyal natives had expressed as to his presence with us, and 
very soon had them under the impression that it was he and 
not Rhodes who was entertaining them. He stayed with us 
till peace was concluded, and before we moved on was added 
to Rhodes's pension list and remained there for the rest of 
his life, some eight years. A great opportunist and a cheerful 
rogue was Babayan. 

A fine character was M'Jana, who had been Lobengula's 
Commander-in-Chief for many years and won him many 
victories. He fled with his king and the impis that went 
with him when he was defeated at Bulawayo in 1893, and 
he told us on various occasions when he came to see Rhodes 
at our camp, of the pursuit and final disaster of Allan Wilson 
and his party of thirty-four. When the Shangani River rose 
in heavy flood and cut off all hope of reinforcements for 
Wilson, M'Jana took heart and called a halt. The king was 
very ill and he realised the only hope for him was in rest, so 
he decided to stand and attack, which he did, using his few 
remaining regiments with skill, He possessed a number of 
rifles of all kinds but hardly any ammunition. Forming a 
semicircle round Wilson's party, his force drew closer and 
closer, throwing an assegai or two, firing a shot or two, and all 
the time drawing the fire of Wilson's men, who being bunched 
together formed an easy target. Gradually the Matabele 
crept forward, and after some four hours (judged from the 
description given by M'Jana) they were close enough to do 
deadly work with their assegais. Then the end must have 
been apparent to the few survivors, and one of them jumped 
up and sang he could not tell what. He was joined by 
others in this, and for a few seconds the Matabele held their 
hands, so surprised were they then with a rush they pressed 
forward with their stabbing assegais and all was over. 
Some sixty men of M' Jana's regiments were killed, he told us, 
and a like number wounded. ' It was a great fight,' he said, 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 269 

' and we fought brave men.' M'Jana had given his sub- 
mission soon after, and had settled some fourteen miles from 
Bulawayo, where he was much liked by our people as well as 
his own. The rebels tried hard to get him to join them, but 
he would have none of it and helped us greatly all through 
the rebellion in very many ways. The Government, realising 
his high character and value to the country, saw to his 
comfort, I am glad to say, and made him a monthly allow- 
ance which enabled him to live in comfort till his death in 
1907, when he was about seventy-five years old. Standing 
some six feet high, with a fine carriage and noble bearing, 
full of scars honourably got in many a raid and battle, brave 
as a lion and trusted by all, M'Jana was the Marshal Ney of 
the Matabele army. 

An occasional visitor was Faku, another loyal chief who 
controlled a very large following. Both he and his men had 
been of much assistance during the rebellion, and it had 
been Rhodes's intention to give him ample reward. Un- 
fortunately, he fell ill and sent messengers to us to say he 
could no longer visit us, and would Mr. Ehodes come to his 
kraal one day and bid him good-bye, as he felt he had not 
many days left in this world. Rhodes lost no time in riding 
over to see the old man, who, when he was told of his arrival, 
had himself carried out of his hut. He looked very ill in- 
deed but was quite cheerful. ' I am much distressed to 
find you so ill, Faku,' said Rhodes in his somewhat shaky 
Matabele language, ' you must let me send you to hospital, 
where you will be well attended to and I hope cured.' ' No,' 
said Faku, c I am near the end, I know it, and I shall stay 
with my people to the last, but before I go I wished to see 
you, Mr. Rhodes, to talk to you of important matters. I 
am a very old man (he was well over seventy) and have seen 
much fighting. I was old enough to guard cattle when 
M'Ziligazi conquered this country, and I fought in many a 
battle with him and afterwards with Lobengula, who has 
since followed M'Ziligazi to his fathers. Three years ago, 
on his death, I gave my allegiance to your Queen and have 
kept my promise, but I am not happy about my people 



270 RHODES : A LIFE 

many of them have no longer any land they can call their 
own, and it is only you, whom we now look on as our father 
and protector, who can help us. My people must have land 
to graze their cattle and grow their crops on. There will 
never be lasting peace till this is assured/ ' Have no fear, 
Faku,' replied Rhodes, ' I promise you that it will be put 
right. Ample land will be set aside for the whole of your 
nation, and I will buy all the land surrounding your kraal 
and also that surrounding the kraals of others of Lobengula's 
relatives which has been disposed of by the Government. 
None of you will ever be dispossessed. I pledge my word 
to you over this.' 'N'Kosi Nkulu, M'Lamula N'Kunzi, 
Baba Yami ' (Great Chief, Separator of the Fighting Bulls, 
My Father), said Faku, ' you will sow well, you will give 
lasting peace to my people. I am content, Hamba guhle ' 
(Go in peace), e N'kosi, Baba.' Patting him gently on the 
shoulder, Rhodes said, ' Hlala guhle (Best in peace), Faku,' 
and we left the old chief, promising to return and see h 
again shortly. This was unfortunately not possible for some 
time, and before it could be managed we heard of his death 
from his son, who told us that Faku had died happily in the 
full belief that Ehodes would protect his people. Rhodes 
lost no time in fulfilling his promises, and within a month 
had purchased at a high cost a hundred thousand acres, 
extending from the gates of Bulawayo well into the Matopo 
hills, on which he provided, as he said he would, for the 
settlement of Faku's people and other relatives of Lobengula. 
Thus he carried out his pledge to the loyal Faku. 

One could tell many things about the visits of the various 
chiefs who came to see Rhodes at our camp in the Matopos. 
There was the gallant Gambo, who owned the allegiance of 
the largest following of any of them. He never wavered in 
his loyalty and gave us most valuable assistance in every 
possible way, both morally and with men and animals as 
well. He was a man after Rhodes's heart, full of energy, 
progressive in his ideas, always pushing forward the im- 
provement of his people, to whom he had introduced ploughs, 
waggons and carts, and he had begun to improve the quality 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 271 

of their cattle and to breed horses. Rhodes asked in what 
way he could help him, and was told that he desired nothing 
beyond a few good bulls which he would pay for, and perhaps 
some engineering assistance in regard to the erection of 
windmills. c This man, 5 said Rhodes, e has no time for 
breeding mischief ; he is a worker. He must be encouraged/ 

Mapisa was a different type. He loved the fleshpots and 
was rival to Babayan as a raconteur. Asked why he re- 
belled, he replied, ' There was nothing else for me to do. I 
am not a powerful chief ; my neighbour Holi is, and what he 
said, I had to do, and when he told me he was going to fight 
the white man I had to join him, although I knew it meant 
many discomforts. My heart has never been in it, and I 
find it is much more comfortable to be friends with the white 
man than his enemy. There will be no more rebelling on 
my part. I will sit in my kraal and call on the Government 
to protect me and to feed me too if my granaries are raided. 
Six months ago I was a fine portly figure, now I am only a 
skinful of bones, and I look to you, U'Rhodes, to help me 
get round in body again like Babayan.' In many ways he 
was amusing, but he was a feeble character. 

Somabulana, Umlukulu, Sekombo, Dhliso, Hhiganiso, 
M'Pini, and many others travelled long distances to pay 
their respects to Rhodes. All were made welcome and their 
complaints given every consideration, and none went away 
dissatisfied. Rhodes quickly understood their various points 
of view and listened patiently and in turn gave his, and many 
apparently insurmountable difficulties were successfully 
swept away. Day after day these interviews went on, and 
Rhodes, after hearing the native side, repeated his views time 
and again, showing an inexhaustible patience. 

In due course all the chiefs had come in to offer their 
allegiance save the redoubtable Holi and three others whom 
he controlled. Rhodes, who was one of the most impatient 
men I ever knew, said, ' There is only one thing to do : we 
must go and camp alongside his kraal in the hills and tire 
hi out/ He was told of the great risk he was running, 
going right in amongst the hills unarmed as we were, save 



272 EHODES : A LIFE 

for two or three shotguns among us, and camping close to 
where there were some eight hundred to a thousand armed 
natives who were still in rebellion. ' They won't harm us,' 
he said, e they know the rebellion has been a failure and 
Holi is feeling the bitterness of defeat. As time goes on that 
will pass and he will come to us and yield, but we cannot 
leave him alone till he has done so, as he might breed mischief 
otherwise.' So the five of us, with our ' boys,' waggon and 
horses, went along, cutting a track in the hills till we came 
to a suitable spot near Holi's big kraal, where we made camp. 
For a long number of weeks we remained there, spending the 
time in fishing and shooting and in receiving visits from 
other chiefs and native councillors, but no move came from 
Holi. Then one day the Rev. David Carnegie, a fine type 
of missionary, arrived at our camp, having heard what 
Rhodes was trying to bring about. He approved very 
strongly the idea of holding on till Holi submitted, and said, 
c It is a slow business for you, Mr. Rhodes, who have so much 
on hand. I am known to Holi and will make an effort to 
get in touch with him. I shall make an attempt to see him 
to-morrow, and if I'm not back in two days' time you will 
know that I shall not be conning back at any time.' Rhodes 
said, * If you think the risk is great, Carnegie, do not go. 
We will have him beaten soon now, for his men begin to 
talk from a distance to mine.' Carnegie felt, however, that 
he could safely take the risk, as he and Holi had been on 
good terms at one time, and early next morning he set off 
entirely alone. Two days passed, and no word or sign came 
to us, and we began to get anxious, but about seven o'clock 
on the morning of the third day Carnegie turned up smiling, 
and hungry as could be. c Well, Carnegie, what news ? ' 
said Rhodes. * Man,' he answered in his stout Scotch accent, 
u I'm hungry, give me some breakfast. There's no food 
where I've come from. Once I've settled my hunger I'll 
tell ye all about it.' We soon had a good meal ready for 
him, and he gave us the result of his visit as he went on with 
it. Holi, it may be mentioned, had married as chief wife a 
daughter of Lobengula, and this had added to his previous 



''" '' ' 




FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 273 

high rank, and he had been rather a power in the nation up 
to the time of Lobengula's death. After that event and the 
conquest of his people, he evidently thought he had been un- 
duly overlooked and that what he considered just grievances 
had been ignored, and he undoubtedly favoured and joined in 
the rebellion, though his hands were quite clean of participa- 
tion in any murdering. As the rebels became defeated he 
withdrew into the deepest part of the Matopos with the in- 
tention of fighting in guerilla fashion, but the three chiefs 
whom with their followers he had induced to join him began 
to get very lukewarm, and Rhodes's action in coming to his 
gates upset all his ideas, for, like most of the higher type of 
Matabele warriors, he was a c gentlemanly fighter.' Carnegie 
had two very hard days' discussion with him. c He's a 
grand one to argue,' he said. In the end, however, he got 
him to promise to come and see Rhodes the day following 
his return to us. All this interested Rhodes greatly, and he 
sent Carnegie off to his own grass bed to have a sleep which 
he was much in want of, and told the rest of us to be packing 
up as we'd be off to-morrow so sure was he of settling 
matters with Holi. Early in the afternoon Carnegie ap- 
peared looking fresh and rested and said he must be going. 
Rhodes looked startled. c Why, what's the matter ? ' he 
asked, * are you uncomfortable ? Have I failed you in any- 
thing ? ' * No, no, my friend,' said Carnegie, ' I have much 
work on hand, and it is only because I know of your wish to 
treat the natives justly and kindly that I am here, which is 
far from the part of the country I was going to.' Persua- 
sions were of no avail and off he went with his three * boys. 5 
Rhodes was quite affected, shook him warmly by the hand, 
walked some distance with him, alone and came back to us. 
' There he goes,' he said, ' living up to his convictions and 
high sense of duty a good man, a noble character.' They 
never met again. It was my privilege fortunately to do a 
friendly turn or two at a later date to the old missionary 
before he passed away. 

Soon after light next morning Holi and the three minor 
chiefs appeared with some forty followers, a motley crowd. 

M.C.B. S 



274 RHODES : A LIFE 

Holi was not a prepossessing type and he looked very dis- 
contented. He was asked by Rhodes to state all his troubles 
and to keep nothing back. He was quite frank and in 
some matters opened the eyes of Ehodes over some further 
very real grievances, felt by the more important of the 
Matabele ruling class, that had not been touched upon by 
the other chiefs, but which Ehodes realised got very close 
to the root of many of the troubles connected with the rising. 
Hearing Holi to a finish, he set out his own views and assured 
him that all his statements would be fully considered and 
every unjust grievance removed, and care taken for more 
consideration to be given to the native point of view in 
future. He advised Holi to give his promise, as the other 
chiefs had done, that there would be no further attempt at 
rebellion and that in all matters over which he was troubled 
he would go to the head of the Native Department, where he 
would be sympathetically listened to and dealt with fairly 
and justly. This Holi and his sub-chiefs agreed to do, and 
after eating a good meal and receiving a few small presents 
they went off much more cheerful-looking than when they 
arrived. It was now eleven o'clock and Rhodes was once 
more chafing with impatience. We were all useless and 
wasting time, we ought to have been off, and so on. As a 
matter of fact, we were nearly ready, and at noon we moved 
off, trekking till four o'clock, by which hour we had covered 
some twenty-five miles, and had reached Rhodes's objective, 
the main road leading from Bulawayo to Salisbury. The 
Administrator and certain officials were sent for, and Rhodes 
spent some hours with them setting out all the arrangements 
he had made with Holi and others, which he made it clear 
had to be adhered to. Then he fixed five o'clock as the 
starting hour for next morning, and so was closed the final 
chapter of the Matabele Rebellion. 

The story of Karl Kumalu is one of some interest. He 
had lived for a number of years with Lobengula as his secre- 
tary, and could write a very good letter and was moderately 
clever in other respects. On the death of Lobengula he 
remained with the queens for a time and lived chiefly on 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 275 

their bounty until they managed to shake him ofi. He 
claimed to be of the Kumalu (royal) family and did his best 
to get this recognised, but none of the established families 
would accept his statement, although numbers of the more 
ignorant did. English he spoke perfectly, and he was a 
scheming trickster of the first degree. He was trusted by 
no one, white or black, but was undoubtedly feared by the 
natives, from whom he had always managed to exact suffi- 
cient tribute of sorts to enable him to live very well indeed. 
To the Government he posed as a friend and adviser, and 
frequently appeared in Bulawayo, full of plausible tales. He 
was always hard up and soliciting financial assistance, which 
he frequently got. From time to time he came to see me and 
I intensely disliked his ingratiating, sly ways, and found it 
hard to be civil to him. I tried to find out his early history, 
but he had been clever enough to talk to no one about his 
past. That he was an adventurer was pretty clear, and it 
is highly probable that he was the offspring of a Matabele 
who had found it wise to flee from Lobengula's wrath and 
who had safely reached Swaziland and married a woman of 
that nation. Earl had obtained his knowledge of his father's 
country from that parent no doubt, and from other Matabele 
refugees. His real name was believed to be M'Vulana. He 
had been educated at a Roman Catholic Mission, and seeing 
chances for himself in Matabeleland he found his way there, 
and undoubtedly made himself of considerable use to the 
king. Shortly after the death of the latter and after the 
queens had driven him off, Karl appeared in Bulawayo and 
put forward to the Government a claim for employment. 
He was given some minor job, but he was too unreliable, and 
as he was in the habit of robbing the natives he soon had to 
be discharged. He then set up a small place of his own on 
the edge of the Matopo hills, and by his cunning managed to 
work himself into the councils of the witch doctors, who 
were still a power in the land. This enabled him to gain 
a great deal of information which he soon turned to account, 
and by the end of 1895 he wielded quite a lot of power 
among the natives, who, however, all hated him, but they 



276 RHODES : A LIFE 

believed lie possessed the evil eye, and as a consequence he 
was able to get everything from them that he asked. He 
was becoming a rich man, was the owner of two wives and a 
herd of cattle, and possessed a good deal of cash. That did 
not prevent him all the same from always asking for help 
when he visited Bulawayo, but he began to get scant con- 
sideration there and appeared less frequently as time went 
on. When the rebellion broke out, early in 1896, Karl ap- 
peared and assured us that he stood by the Government, 
but to help us with information he would stay with his own 
people and get to learn all that was going on and report to 
us from time to time, which he did. It was not very long 
before we realised that he was giving us false news, and that 
one or two unsuccessful issues were due to our relying on his 
statements. We decided therefore to check his information 
as carefully as we could in future ; and soon had convincing 
proof of his treachery. It was then decided to make a mid- 
night raid on his kraal and capture him if possible, and this 
was successfully effected and Karl put in gaol. He was 
given fair trial by court martial and convicted on all charges 
and was sentenced to be shot on the following day. He was 
therefore taken from gaol next evening by a firing party of 
four, led out of town about a quarter of a mile and put 
up against a tree. He dropped like a stone as the volley 
was fired into him. Early next morning a fatigue party 
was sent out to bury him, but the body had gone ; and as 
there were no marks of wild animals, we assumed it had 
been taken away in the night by some of his own people, 
who evidently desired to put the remains in a place of their 
own selection. For some time afterwards we suffered from 
Karl's treachery, for he had gained a great deal of valuable 
information as to what we were doing and passed it on to 
the enemy, which enabled the Matabele commanders on 
occasion to checkmate us over certain movements. Soon, 
however, he disappeared from our minds until one day 
some four to five months later, when a somewhat sur- 
prising incident happened. Rhodes was then in the 
Matopo hills engaged in discussions with the chiefs and 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 277 

on other matters, and one afternoon following a strenu- 
ous morning's work we were all resting. I was sitting 
in the shade on a bed of grass reading a newspaper when I 
heard a voice say, ' Baas, baas, don't shoot, it's me, it's Karl.' 
It seemed incredible, but there he was, more villainous look- 
ing than ever and limping very badly. Our native servants 
crowded about him quickly, and I called on Jourdan, 
Rhodes's secretary, to let him know of our visitor, whom I 
told to be seated till Rhodes came along. This was almost 
at once, and Karl immediately asked that he should not be 
shot, to which Rhodes replied, c As to that, Karl, you're safe ; 
you share in the general amnesty to all those who rebelled 
if you murdered no one, and I've not heard that you did that, 
though you behaved very shamefully to me and my people. 
Now tell us how you are here and how you escaped the death 
you deserved.' Karl's story was that he remembered noth- 
ing after seeing the rifles pointed at him until perhaps some 
four hours afterwards, when he woke up and found himself 
lying on the ground feeling very ill and covered with blood. 
He then remembered what had happened, and realised that 
although he had been shot, he was still alive. Judging that 
a party would probably be sent out to bury him at daylight, 
he crawled away in the dark, and by getting assistance from 
parties of natives he came across here and there, he eventu- 
ally reached the haven of the Matopos, where he was able to 
give his wounds some much-needed attention. These he 
showed us one was in his left arm, where a bullet had gone 
through the flesh near the shoulder ; a second bullet went 
through his leg near the thigh, but again it only left a flesh 
wound ; a third had caught him high up on the chest and 
caused Trim a lot of trouble, he said, and though it had 
passed out without damaging his shoulder, one lung 
seemed slightly affected ; the fourth bullet had hit him 
above the ankle and had given him much pain, and 
was still doing so. The leg was a good deal swollen and 
it looked nasty, and he complained of constant pain in it. 
' Well, Karl,' said Rhodes, c you are a lucky man to be alive, 
and what brings you here ? ' ' To get protection from you, 



278 RHODES : A LIFE 

Sir I want to feel safe and I have nothing left and nowhere 
to go. My kraal has been burnt down and my cattle all 
taken and I can't do any work for a long time I want your 
help, Sir.' ' M-m,' said Rhodes, ' you know you are a bad 
man and I fear you are not to be trusted. M-m, shall we 
risk it ? Yes, we'll give you a chance. Now, Karl, I'll tell 
you what I'll do. I shall send you to the Native Hospital 
in Bulawayo, and when you're well go to Mr. McDonald and 
he will put you on one of my farms near Bulawayo, where 
you can put up a kraal and you will be given a few head of 
cattle and left there in peace so long as you keep away from 
the witch doctors and clear of all mischief. If you behave 
badly you will be sent to prison, for we cannot allow evil 
men to carry on practices that will hurt the natives. ' ' Won't 
you give me a little money too, Sir ? ' said Karl. ' Very 
well,' replied Rhodes, ' Mr. McDonald will pay you from me 
twenty pounds a year also.' For the first time in his life I 
believe Karl felt a slight surge of gratitude ; he bent his 
head and said, 'You can trust me, Sir.' 'Tony,' called 
Rhodes, ' give Karl a good meal and let him sleep here to- 
night, and put him on the waggon that goes to Bulawayo 
to-morrow.' As we moved off Karl grinned his evil smile 
and said, ' Sir, you see I am in rags ; could you not give me 
some clothes ? ' ' Tony,' came the reply, ' give him one of 
my shirts and a pair of trousers and a coat.' ' You've only 
one coat left, Sir,' said Tony, ' and we must keep that.' 
'All right,' said Rhodes, 'Mr. McDonald will give him one 
of his ! " Which I did, somewhat grudgingly, I fear. Karl's 
resurrection created a full nine days' talk, and he had to be 
seen by many before it was believed. He soon recovered 
from Ms wounds under good treatment in hospital, but re- 
mained lame as long as he lived. He kept his promises as 
well as his crooked nature would permit and died some 
fifteen years later, a pensioner of Rhodes's liberality to the 
last. 

During the period August-October 1896 while we were 
waiting for the submission of certain defiant chiefs in the 
Matopos we had occasional visitors at our camp, and Lord 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 279 

Grey, who had been appointed Administrator of the territory, 
arrived one afternoon to consult Rhodes on various points, 
and next morning at daybreak they set off for a ride into the 
hills in which the chiefs sat sulking. About ten o'clock they 
came back, Rhodes being in great spirits. At breakfast he 
said, ' Grey and I have made a wonderful discovery : we've 
found a hill from the top of which a marvellous view is to 
be seen, and the ascent is so easy that an old lady of eighty 
could walk up without assistance. You must all ride there 
this evening and we'll show it you/ Round about three 
o'clock we set off, and after a full hour's riding we came to 
the foot of the hill, threw the reins over our horses' necks 
and were led by Rhodes to the top. The view was certainly 
a fine one though nothing really very wonderful, but, as 
Rhodes said, it was seldom one could get anything approach- 
ing it with so little effort. He walked back and forth along 
the crest, and all at once he burst forth, ' I shall be buried 
here, looking in that direction (pointing north), and the re- 
mains of Allan Wilson and his party must be brought here 
also and put inside the memorial I shall put up to their 
memory. Now don't forget that, the remains of Allan 
Wilson and his men are to be put here.' We sat for some 
time afterwards in the shade of the vast round boulders that 
seemed to have been thrown up from the bowels of the earth, 
and Rhodes was very silent for a time. Then he said, to 
himself really, ' The peacefulness of it all, the chaotic gran- 
deur of it ; it creates a feeling of awe and brings home to 
one how very small we all are.' Then back he came to the 
present. * Grey,' he said, ' I call this one of the world's 
views.' We all agreed as to that, hence its name to-day, 
' The World's View ' ; the description goes somewhat further 
than what Rhodes claimed for it, but so it was named by the 
public ever since they got to know of his first description. 

Circumstances called all of us elsewhere soon after this ; 
it was some two years before we were able to set out 
again to visit the hill, and we could not find it. All traces 
of the old track as well as our camp had become obliterated 
and overgrown with bush. We knew the general direction, 



280 RHODES : A LIFE 

but there were hundreds of hills similar in appearance save 
in one respect the presence of the huge boulders on top 
but despite endless searching we could not find it. Rhodes's 
impatience became very marked by the second day, and on 
the third his irritability was so great that I at least thought 
it best not to talk to him. There were five of us, and we 
searched sometimes in threes, twos, or singly. Every morn- 
ing at daybreak and every afternoon again we set out on the 
quest, and stuck to it for full three hours at a stretch, but 
luck was not with us. Thinking it over after three days' 
failure, I decided to set out alone next morning and follow 
up a thought that had occurred to me. In our various 
wanderings we had all crossed over a small sand river running 
out of a narrow opening in the hills, but we knew that two 
years previously no such river was near the hill we sought, 
so we wasted no time going up its course. It struck me, 
however, that every now and then a cloudburst or water- 
spout falling over steep hills caused a vast run off of water 
and had to force an outlet, if such did not exist, for the flood 
waters. This would most probably, if the deluge was a very 
heavy one, create a new river course ; and I remembered 
having heard that about Christmas time 1896 there had been 
a terrific storm in that part of the Matopo hills according 
to a farmer living some six miles off, no less than nine inches 
of rain falling over the district in four hours. This would 
have been quite enough among such bare and steep hills to 
have created a vast torrent that had to find an outlet some- 
how. Telling no one what I had in mind, I set off at day- 
break to ride across to this sand river and follow its course 
upwards and see what that led to. Gradually, as I worked 
up the river bed quite dry at that time of the year avoid- 
ing boulders and bushes as best as I could, it began to be 
borne in on me that I was on the right track, and after a 
mile and a half I reached the head of it, which looked some- 
thing like a crater inside an amphitheatre of bare granite 
hills. It was clear that the ' crater ' had been caused by a 
swirling flood which in due course had broken through and 
formed the sand river. Clambering up out of the chasm, I 



FURTHER DAYS ON THE VELD 281 

pushed forward and came to a long reedy valley which I 
readily recognised as being within three miles of the hill, 
and in half an hour I was there ; but before going back I 
wished to be absolutely sure that I had made no mistake, so 
tying my pony to a tree I climbed to the top and proved to 
my great satisfaction that I had discovered what we had 
been looking for for so long. 

Returning quickly to the foot of the hill, I was soon 
in the saddle whistling gaily on the way to our camp, 
which I reached about eleven o'clock. Rhodes and the 
others were at breakfast a gloomy party and as I 
appeared he looked up. ' Of course you've not found 
it/ he said, somewhat surlily. c I have/ I said in the most 
cheerful fashion. He was on his feet in a second. ' Are you 
sure ? My horse, Tony get my horse, Tony. You must 
take me back there right away, McDonald. You're sure 
you've got it ? Let us be off/ and off we went. There was 
no breakfast for me that day, but I had managed to swallow 
a cup of coffee. The rest of the party were left behind and 
told if it was all right they would be taken there later on ; 
they mustn't bother him at present. Rhodes pushed me to 
ride hard, and seemed very dubious till we reached the reedy 
valley, which he remembered. After that he knew we were 
on the right way, and calmed down and fell into one of his 
dreams. Then, c I had to find my hill, McDonald, I had to 
find it, it has stayed with me since I saw it last ; I fear I've 
been very irritable the past few days, but I had to find it, 
and I shan't forget how you stuck to it.' We were soon on 
top of the hill, and Rhodes sat down under the shade of one 
of the rocks, saying to me soon after, * I shall stay here for 
a time, I am happy here, I want to think for a bit ; you go 
back and have a meal and get a fresh horse and bring 
Metcalfe and the others along. We must chaff them as to 
their inefficient exploring.' And that was how ' The World's 
View ' was re-discovered. 



CHAPTEK XXII 

THE UPRISING 
1897-1898 

JAMESON returned to Rhodesia in 1897. ' Hello, Jameson ! * 
said Rhodes, when they met in Bulawayo ; but, keenly 
realising the change his over-hasty action of two years 
earlier and the subsequent troubles had made to his friend's 
career and to those dreams in which they shared, Jameson 
could only grip Rhodes's hand in silence. Though his body 
was nearly recovered from the recent hardships he had 
endured, his mind was not yet at peace, and Rhodes, seeing 
this and believing in work as the universal healer, sent him 
to promote the extension of the trans-continental telegraph 
which was now moving forward from Umtali via Inyanga 
to the Zambesi and on to Nyasaland, Ujiji, Nairobi, Fashoda 
and Cairo, instead of through the less healthy country 
between Salisbury and Tete, where ' telegraphists had died 
at their posts ; natives cut the wires ; and elephants de- 
stroyed the poles.' x 

Now that the Rhodesian colonists had fought their way 
through the early hardships, through rebellion and thb con- 
sequent famine, and through the ravages of rinderpest to 
repair which the Chartered Company had voted a large sum 
of money the country was embarking on a period of justly 
earned peace and prosperity. 

The almost complete breakdown of transport facilities 
during the rinderpest had impressed on Rhodes the need for 
establishing a more dependable means of communication 
with the outside world. For this reason the railway was 

1 Michell. 
282 



THE UPRISING 283 



now pushed on with all possible speed and was due to reach 
Bulawayo in November. 

Land values rose enormously in consequence ; buildings 
of bricks and mortar were erected ; mining claims sold 
readily ; new properties were pegged out and many fresh 
companies floated with large amounts of capital for the 
development of the newly found, but already proved, 
resources of the country. Everything looked cheerful, 
money was spent freely, and the fact that Rhodes ' The 
Pounder of the Country ' now dwelt among them, ever 
ready to decide any problem which arose, was a source of 
inspiration to the whole country. 

Oddly enough, numbers of Boers were now steadily trek- 
king into Rhodesia from the Transvaal, finding sweeter grass 
for their cattle and a greater liberty for themselves in the 
new country of the Charter than they had enjoyed under 
Kruger's rigid rule. On one occasion a well-known South 
African politician suggested to Rhodes that there was a 
possibility of danger from the Dutch, to which he exclaimed 
with delight, * Kruger's burghers ! Why, I have two thousand 
of them ! * 

With Rhodes himself, however, the outlook was not so 
bright as with the majority of his colonists. At this time 
Le Sueur relates that, when out riding, Rhodes suffered a 
really bad heart attack actually the third, for the first, 
we know, occurred in 1873 when on the diamond fields, 
and the second at Groote Schuur when he heard that 
Jameson had crossed the Transvaal border. This occur- 
rence impressed upon hi that, owing to the break in 
his work occasioned by the Raid and the now uncertain 
state of his health, he might not live to see the accomplish- 
ment of his dreams. To a nature so full of force and 
energy as his, a mind ever planning the fulfilment of 
far-reaching plans, it must have been a terrible blow to face 
the realisation of certain disappointment in the knowledge 
that a part of his beloved work must inevitably be left 
undone. 

From this time on he worked feverishly, never sparing 



284 RHODES : A LIFE 

himself in an effort to accomplish more than was really 
physically possible in the short time he knew to be left him. 
Like a runner glancing over his shoulder at the approach of 
a more powerful adversary, so Rhodes embarked on a grim 
race with death, knowing he must be overtaken before he 
had gone much further. 

With this fear in his mind he also began to make provision 
for his friends and his retainers in the future, and he worked 
with intense and unabating interest to further his policy of 
adding homes to the vast country he had given to the 
Empire. He had acquired a hundred thousand acres in 
fertile country near the Matopo hills, and a valuable estate 
on the high lands of Inyanga, at both of which places he 
commenced planning out experiments in stock farming and 
in agriculture for the benefit of the farming community. 
In connection with developments at Inyanga he wrote as 
follows : 

INYANGA, 

Nov. 5, 1897. 
DBAE MCDONALD, 

I am anxious to do some work here but find Inyanga 
natives very backward. I want you to send me, if you can 
get them to come forward, thirty or forty Matabele, who I 
am sure will be willing to come to me when they know they 
will find me here. You must give them passes and provide 
for their journey. My heart is better, but I have to keep 
quiet. Yours, 

C. J. RHODES. 

In regard to his experiments and development schemes no 
trouble was too great, no detail too trivial for his attention. 
He would sit and chat with the local farmers for hours on 
end, never grudging the time given to finding a solution of 
their difficulties. 

In the middle of the year Rhodes invited Sir Lewis Michell, 
who always held his Power of Attorney in South Africa, and 
of whom he was very fond, to visit him at Bulawayo, and on 
his arrival there asked him to be one of his executors, to 



THE UPRISING 285 



which Michell agreed. While riding together through the 
country they spent much time in discussing the clauses of 
Rhodes's final will, the terms of which differed to no great 
extent from the one which Rhodes himself had drawn up at 
the age of twenty-two. Now, however, * he laid down ex- 
plicitly ... a great educational scheme to apply to all the 
English-speaking portions of the world. This was a plan to 
provide scholarships for young students from all the self- 
governing Colonies and from the United States of America, 
of sufficient value to enable them to have courses at his own 
University of Oxford, because " I consider that the edu- 
cation of young colonists at one of the Universities in the 
United Kingdom is of great advantage to them for giving 
breadth to their views, for their instruction in life and 
manners, and for instilling into their minds the advantage 
to the Colonies as well as to the United Kingdom of the 
retention of the unity of the Empire . . . and (because) I 
also desire to encourage and foster an appreciation of the 
advantages which I implicitly believe will result from 
the union of the English-speaking people throughout the 
world." ' x This scheme was added to in 1901 by the gift 
of five annual scholarships to Germany. 

Somewhat unfortunately, when drawing up the will, Mr. 
Hawksley, the London lawyer, is said to have given the 
number of the American States as thirteen. Two scholars 
were therefore allotted to each before it was discovered that, 
as the States then totalled forty-nine, the American Rhodes 
scholars would outnumber all others. 

Williams tells us that when discussing these conditions 
Rhodes explained, ' I do not want simply the bookworms, I 
want men of good literary attainments with a taste for out- 
door sports. I have made the amount 250 a year, as I 
think a young fellow should live for that sum at Oxford and 
not require to pinch himself.' Rhodes wished the successful 
candidates to choose whatever college they liked, feeling, as 
has been fully proved since, that they would be apt to be- 
come narrow and not attain that breadth of vision he had 

1 Williams. 



286 RHODES : A LIFE 

in mind should they be all closely associated in the same 
college. 

It is clear that he had pondered much upon this scheme 
before deciding on it, and also that it was one which gave 
him great happiness. He said once to Lord Rosebery, 
'When I find myself in uncongenial company, or when 
people are playing their games, or when I am alone in a 
railway carriage, I shut my eyes and think of my great idea. 
I turn it over in my mind and try to get new light on it. 
It is the pleasantest companion I have/ 

In Sir Lewis Michell he found a genial companion, and he 
took him to see his large estate in the Matopos, where he had 
now settled four or five young Colonial and British farmers 
and some two thousand natives, among the latter all the 
formerly most dangerous of the Matabele rebels who were 
there under his own eye. These once warlike natives had 
become like Rhodes's children. They admired and revered 
him as the greatest of white men and were ready to obey his 
slightest word. Upon one occasion, when he was impressing 
upon them the sinfulness of murder, especially of women and 
children, they declared, * We will kill no more women, Inkosi 
(Chief), unless you order it.' 

After showing Michell a great part of Matabeleland, Rhodes 
took him on to Salisbury, where they parted for the time 
being, the former returning to Cape Town via Beira, and 
Rhodes remaining for a time in Salisbury, where he pressed 
forward innumerable schemes of development, more par- 
ticularly in regard to mining and farming. During this 
period Rhodes was doing daily the work of at least three 
ordinary men. The strain was terrific and no human frame 
could have stood up to it. He realised his time was short 
and he was trying to put two or three years' work into one. 
There were occasions when it was a delight to be with him, 
and there were others when one found him most difficult if 
not almost impossible. For a time the Raid had humbled 
his belief in himself, and he said on several occasions that 
adversity had done him a kindly turn and that to make 
atonement for his error he would give untiring devotion to 



THE UPRISING 287 



the interests of South. Africa. ' The fall from power,' said 
Burke, of Chatham, e canonises and sanctifies a great 
character.' It is unquestioned that it had a deep effect on 
Rhodes. Public applause wherever he went was, however, 
showered upon him by both Dutch and English, who admired 
the fight he was making, and this tended to bring about 
some change in his humble attitude, and ill-health brought 
on impatience and overbearance at times. Any delay in 
connection with the many schemes he had set going irritated 
him unreasonably. Working sixteen hours a day himself, 
he expected everyone else in his service to do the same. 
Many failed and were promptly dispensed with, most of 
such cases creating an additional enemy. At no time did I 
find his intellect clearer, nor his energy greater. No obstacle 
daunted him ; from the development of one scheme he 
pressed on to that of another. Fortunately he still slept 
well, but it alarmed some of us to see the pace at which he 
was consuming his vitality. When we remonstrated with 
him, however, he told us that he was enjoying himself and 
to turn our * coddling ' towards someone in more need of it. 

After spending a week or so in Salisbury he went on by 
mule waggon and horseback to his Inyanga estate, some 
hundred and twenty miles distant, and on the way there he 
was attacked by malarial fever following on influenza, while 
the height of that country was very unsuitable for anyone 
whose heart was affected, and he became very ill. Upon 
hearing this news Jameson then somewhere between 
Nyasaland and Umtali hastened to Inyanga, where he 
took Rhodes under his care and played the combined part 
of doctor, nurse, and friend for several anxious weeks. 

Rhodes was by no means a good patient. His great spirit 
chafed and fought against his physical disabilities, and he 
was often irritable and impatient with everyone around him. 
But ' the Doctor ' and Sir Charles Metcalfe, who had been 
with him throughout, cheered him and gradually brought 
him to better health, and when Rhodes recovered, Jameson 
stayed on for a while on the farm, when they all explored 
the surrounding country and the old ruins which abound 



288 RHODES : A LIFE 

there, with the zest of youth. At this time Seymour Port 
writes that Jameson, 'ever loving excitement, even attempted 
to break into the yoke wild cattle from Zambesi country, 
and on one occasion only escaped the charge of an infuriated 
beast by plunging into a swamp, while Rhodes miraculously 
leaped on to a waggon.' 

It is easy to imagine how happy these two friends must 
have been, restored to each other after a long separation and 
having cleared away all misunderstandings, enjoying a care- 
free existence far removed from civilisation with its attendant 
troubles and anxieties. The letter shown in facsimile, and 
written to me when he was convalescent, shows how closely 
he kept in touch with some of his smaller interests. 

The railway from Beira had reached Umtali, which town 
was now in process of being moved ten miles, so that the 
line would pass right through the settlement, instead of to 
the east of it ; and on 4th November the railway from the 
Cape reached Bulawayo, thus bringing the realisation of his 
dream of linking Cape to Cairo some 1365 miles nearer. To 
his great disappointment he was not yet strong enough to 
go down to the opening ceremony, for which Sir Alfred 
Milner who had now replaced Lord Rosmead as High 
Commissioner came to Rhodesia. However, he was able 
to meet Milner shortly afterwards on the veld near Umtali ; 
and although Rhodes was at first suspicious, fearing that 
Milner might want to usurp the power he wielded in his 
own country, these fears were speedily put to rest ; for the 
two great men realised from the first that there was work 
enough for each in Africa, without interfering with the other. 
At this first meeting they cemented a deep and enduring 
friendship which helped towards the lasting benefit of the 
country. 

From word brought north from time to time Rhodes 
learnt that during his enforced absence from Cape politics 
the Bond party, led by Schreiner and Hofmeyr, had been 
stirring up acute racial feeling between British and Dutch 
colonists by allying itself closely to the interests of Presi- 
dent Kruger. By apparently sympathising with the idea of 





^> 2^/zL^Sx 





^e^LX^> 

&3^< 



***.* 




THE UPRISING 289 



Dutch supremacy, they made a bid for greater power at the 
coming General Election. At this time there seemed no 
fitting leader for the Imperial party, since Rhodes was in 
the North busy with its development in every direction. 
He often met with much discouragement, but this only 
made him more keen. His many friends at the Cape, finding 
that no one there could take his place, implored him to come 
to their help, and he was greatly distressed by the news 
which reached him of the steady growth of Krugerism and 
the further oppression of the Uitlanders in the Transvaal a 
direct result of the Jameson Raid and his own enforced 
absence from politics. 

As a result therefore of the insistent pressure from his 
party and his friends, he decided to leave his beloved North 
for a time, and he returned to the Cape in January 1898 to 
take up the Imperial cudgels against the Bond party, with 
which he had worked in earlier and happier days. 

Staying a day or two in Salisbury, he travelled through to 
Bulawayo, 300 miles distant, mainly on horseback, his mule 
waggon carrying Tony and his cooking outfit. Sir Charles 
Metcalf e and Le Sueur accompanied him, the latter a young 
colonial who took the place of Jourdan for six months as his 
secretary. The wet season was at its height, and we were 
all very much afraid that he might contract malaria, but he 
turned up in fine spirits and wonderfully fit, and several 
fine, sunny days followed his arrival, which he profited by 
to visit his Matopo farm. It was on this occasion that he 
found the valuable feeding grass, now known the world over 
as ' Rhodes Grass.' It has been introduced to Australia, 
New Zealand, America and elsewhere, with great benefit to 
all stock raising. Curious to say, it has done better in the 
two first-named countries than anywhere in South Africa. 
Walking out by himself one afternoon, he noticed the cattle, 
sheep, and ostriches he had introduced from the Cape all 
set off to the ridges as the sun declined and the day got 
cooler, and kept pushing each other to get at a bluish-coloured 
grass. Watching them for a time, he realised they were 
eating nothing else, and he came back to his huts with quite 



290 RHODES : A LIFE 

an armful of it, which was put in wet sacking and taken with 
Mm to Cape Town, where it was examined by a botanist 
and its qualities set out fully, with the result that it has 
since been distributed over the whole world and is looked 
on as one of the most valuable of pasture grasses. 

He had not quite finished his work at Bulawayo when 
Lord Grey, who had been appointed Administrator in 1896, 
came through from the capital, Salisbury, on his way to 
England. During the two and a half years he had been in 
the country he had done wonderful work and never spared 
himself in its interests. When he reached my quarters, 
where Ehodes was staying, it had been raining for half the 
day and was coming down in sheets. There was only one 
train a week then and Grey had to go by it that evening. 
Rhodes was much affected by his departure and drove to 
the station with him despite the weather, and when he had 
gone he turned to us and said : ' He's a fine fellow, Grey, a 
fine character ! When I found myself with my back to the 
wall after the Transvaal trouble, he gave up all his great 
interests at home and came to Rhodesia to stand by me and 
help to make the country. He has done wonderful work and 
endeared himself to everyone, and not till he has seen that 
all is going well has he ever thought of leaving. A lovable 
character. Take heed of him all of you, for in him you see 
one of the finest products of England an English gentleman/ 

On his way south from Bulawayo Rhodes interviewed the 
members of the much delayed Ngami trek, now quite sure 
of being able to reach their objective, who were on the 
point of starting on the long and hazardous journey. He 
had never lost his keen interest in this venture and 
rejoiced in the courage of this group of farmers, mostly 
of Dutch extraction, numbering 400 men, women, and 
children, whom no set-back could dismay, who were to 
occupy an almost unknown part of the country, and one 
never before thrown open for white occupation. He again 
urged on them the need for the occupation of the territory 
before it was filled up with Germans, and proved his sincerity 
towards them by ' displaying a royal munificence/ as his 



THE UPRISING 291 



assistance was described by one of them. It is of interest 
to mention that the journey took some nine months to 
accomplish, but results turned out most successfully, and 
to-day, fully twenty-seven years after, it can safely be said 
that through Rhodes's far-sightedness and generosity he was 
able to secure and settle with British subjects a great and 
fine farming country that now compares favourably with the 
rest of such areas in South Africa. In addition to this his 
main object at the time, of preserving the hinterland for 
the people of South Africa, was fully realised. 

At the Cape, Rhodes still possessed a following of moderate 
and loyal Dutchmen in addition to the British colonists, and 
despite intense racial feeling now prevailing, he adhered 
with grim determination to that policy of racial equality to 
which he had pledged himself on his entry into Parliament 
sixteen years before, believing that ' if you keep at your 
point long enough and show tenacity of purpose you gain 
the day.' He never allowed or admitted that a difficulty 
was sufficiently great to intervene in a question of policy, 
but swept such things aside like cobwebs. 

He realised that if he was to work as he wished towards 
the North, and guide South Africa towards that federation 
he had always hoped for her, he must regain his position in 
Cape politics. In the few election speeches he made at this 
time, Rhodes urged upon the electors the necessity for the 
amendment of the education laws of the Colony. He wanted 
to create some form of compulsory education, for under such 
conditions he believed that every man had an equal chance 
in the world ; but this idea was not popular with some of 
the old Dutch farmers, who felt that as they had got along 
without education so could their children. 

Rhodes advocated strongly an annual contribution by the 
Cape towards the cost of the British Navy, which contri- 
bution was afterwards changed, by vote of the House and 
against his wish, to the gift of a cruiser H.M.S. Africa. In 
this regard Rhodes had quaintly illustrated the advantage 
of an annual contribution rather than the one gift of a ship, 
by quoting the remark of one of his lieutenants when seeking 



292 RHODES : A LIFE 

a concession from Lobengula. This gentleman had tersely 
explained, ' If you give the king a monthly instalment you 
will be continually reminding him of our existence and of 
the benefits he is receiving from us, whereas a lump sum 
paid down may instantly be squandered over the ramifica- 
tions of his harem.' 1 But even such conclusive argument 
was overborne. A warship was given to the mother- 
country, and she was not thereafter annually reminded of 
the generosity of South Africa. 

Rhodes had realised, and now insisted on, the vital neces- 
sity for the conservation of water, and the prosecution of 
irrigation works for the betterment of agriculture. The idea 
of building an enormous dam which should irrigate some 
2000 acres of land in his farm in the Matopos had long been 
in his mind, and he now asked me to have plans prepared, 
and later at his request I arranged for its construction. In 
the following characteristic letter he sent me some instruc- 
tions : ' Dear McDonald, I have seen what water can do 
when it has brains and energy behind it. Begin the Matopo 
dam at once. This letter is authority for Michell to finance 
you. The work is left entirely to you. Begin at once and 
have it ready for next season's rains. We must not let any 
floods go to waste. The contracts are left to you. You 
have my authority to go to work at once.' 

This dam, which took four years to complete, pleased 
Rhodes immensely. It has stood the test of time and im- 
pounds 1000 million gallons of water, and below it there is 
now an agricultural college with a smiling valley at its feet 
in place of the once bare veld. 

Rhodes had bought fruit farms in the Paarl district of 
Cape Colony, with the double intention of introducing more 
progressive farming conditions there, and at the same time 
of reducing the proportions of the Bond or Dutch party 
whose stronghold was in that part of the country. Much 
irrigation had already been done on these farms, which were 
placed in the hands of experts imported by hi from the 
fruit districts of California and employed under Mr. Pick- 

1 TT ATI am ATI 



THE UPRISING 293 



stone, with the happiest results. Even at that early date 
Rhodes had seen the possibility of establishing the overseas 
fruit trade which is flourishing to-day and of which he laid 
the foundations. In a letter written to Milner at this time 
Rhodes explains his plans in this regard. * In a small way/ 
he writes, * I have tried to encourage fruit cultivation in the 
Cape, and possess some twenty or thirty farms in the Paarl 
and Stellenbosch districts. Owing to their special know- 
ledge the men in charge of these farms are almost entirely 
English who have studied fruit cultivation in California ; 
and for the first time we have a number of English on the 
land in these districts. At first they were looked upon with 
suspicion and distrust by their neighbours. This feeling has 
now totally altered. They mix socially with the neigh- 
bouring fanners ; they are intermarrying with the Dutch, 
and the whole tone of these two districts is changing.' 1 

Once again Rhodes was making men talk and think of his 
dream of Federated South Africa. In speaking of this union, 
he adopted a very practical line of argument. He would 
point out to the farmers the handicap they suffered from 
excise laws and customs barriers at every state frontier, and 
from the irritating and high tariffs of rival state railways. 
6 After all/ he would add, ' under Federal Union all these 
small and material squabbles would disappear, together with 
the bitterness of present racial strife.' 

He saw clearly that a union of all the South African States 
was imperative if they would live, and by every means in 
his power he strove to bring this about, realising that as a 
compact political entity such a federation or union would 
create a country possessing immense political force. In 
addition to this certainty, Rhodes possessed great mental 
vision and was able to see more than most the troubles and 
difficulties that would keep the country back unless such 
union was achieved. It was evident to him that the need 
for federation was increasing daily, although for the present 
the obstructive policy of the Transvaal prevented any 
real union being immediately arrived at. Whenever Rhodes, 

1 Williams. 



294 RHODES : A LIFE 

either in Cape Colony or in Rhodesia or in England, referred 
to his ambition for the federation of the various States under 
the supremacy of the British flag he was promptly met with 
the question, ' What about the Transvaal ? ' He hoped, 
however, that if all went well he would in time be able to 
offer the Transvaal such terms to enter the union that 
President Kruger would not be able to remain outside. 

Natal, the colony that had until now held herself remote 
from the other States of South Africa, was firmly converted 
to Rhodes's dream. Her colonists even went so far as to 
ask hi to sit as their representative on the South African 
Legislative Council of the future ; but Escombe then 
Prime Minister died soon after this, and Rhodes himself 
did not live to see the ultimate success of what he had worked 
for so long. 

So hopeful was he at this time of succeeding in his 
aim that in 1898 he wrote to Canada asking for sugges- 
tions in regard to a federal constitution ; and he actually 
made a rough draft for the Constitution of a South African 
Commonwealth. 

On another occasion, speaking at Vryburg in Bechuana- 
land, Rhodes strongly defended himself from the accusation 
which had constantly been made that he was against the 
Afrikanders. c How/ he asked his audience, * am I against 
the Afrikanders ? Can you quote me a case ? Has any 
privilege ever been denied an Afrikander and granted to any 
other race or class ? Surely, if Kruger's burghers have 
equal rights, and the Free State burghers have equal rights, 
it is not likely that I should deny them to the people of Cape 
Colony. I tell you these are lies, and now I put another aspect 
of the question. Do you think that you are wise in howling 
against Rhodes in every part of the country, and especially 
here in Bechuanaland ? You may by your folly drive the 
North to take up a hostile attitude towards you, and what, 
I ask, do you imagine you are going to gain ? I will tell 
you. You will gain race feeling, you will succeed in setting 
race against race, but that will not feed you, that will not 
give you land, that will not secure the future of yourselves 



THE UPRISING 295 



or your children. What, then, is it going to do ? I will tell 
you. It is going to starve you. . . . Now, even if you vote 
against the candidates I am supporting here to-night, my 
policy will remain the same, for I shall not be turned aside 
from my purpose by the temporary anger of Afrikanders 
against me, blowing that in five years my policy will be 
your policy. . . . My main object is the gradual acquisition 
of Africa, and the union of South Africa, and those objects 
are one and the same.' 

This speech was seized upon by Rhodes's enemies, who 
claimed it to mean that if he were not returned he would 
not only sever himself from the Cape but would stir up 
feeling in Rhodesia against Cape Colony an absurd sup- 
position ; but party feeling was running high and neither 
side at this time was too particular in its methods. 

This election was unfortunately notable for the doubly 
bitter spirit in which it was fought, since in addition to the 
racial controversy much personal criticism was introduced 
on both sides. The anti-Rhodes and the anti-British Bond 
party were supported in their election campaign by funds 
from the Transvaal Secret Service, and Rhodes drew largely 
upon his own private purse in order to enable his side to 
fight with equal advantage in that connection. Every 
conceivable method for driving Rhodes and his party from 
the field was introduced by the Bond and Kruger following, 
and abuse of the most virulent nature was poured over all 
of them ; but Rhodes took most of it with calm contempt, 
although at times he seized opportunities for effective retort. 
The very violence of his opponents helped him, and large 
numbers of the more educated Dutch came over to his 
support. 

While the election campaign was in progress, Rhodes paid 
a flying visit to England, where he laid various proposals 
before the Imperial Government for the continuation of the 
railway northwards. He still held to his dream of estab- 
lishing during his life a rail from Cape to Cairo ; and he now 
suggested that the British Government should guarantee the 
expenses of building the next section from Salisbury to 



296 RHODES : A LIFE 

Tanganyika. This proposal was at first favourably received, 
but later such impossible conditions were suggested that he 
regretfully gave up the idea. ' Chamberlain wants the 
earth, and he can't have it,' declared Rhodes ; ' but Hicks 
Beach* (afterwards Lord St. Aldwyn), he added, 'wants 
much more, so much in fact that he would bring utter ruin 
in Rhodesia if I accepted his best offer even ; so I politely 
turned down their proposals and told them we could get on 
without their assistance, but that I could not understand 
why they penalised their own people in the Colonies, as they 
did in so many directions, when they were opening up fresh 
markets for them all the time. This had no effect, however, 
on Hicks Beach, though Chamberlain saw my point, and 
had it been only him I would have won. Hicks Beach, 
however, was impossible, and yet there was something in 
him I could not help admiring he knew his own mind and 
wasted no time in giving a direct reply but the abler man 
was Chamberlain/ Determined not to own himself beaten, 
Rhodes thereupon set himself to collect the necessary capital 
from the shareholders of the Chartered Company and his 
friends. In order to gain more support, the proposed route 
was altered so that it should be in a position to deal with 
the resources of the recently discovered Wankie coalfield, 
and it is possible that without this discovery the whole rail- 
way scheme might have broken down. Upon such slender 
threads hang the destinies of Empire. 

Rhodes himself was immensely pleased with the idea of 
this route, for now his railway would bridge the Zambesi 
River just below the Victoria Falls. ' I should like,' said 
he, * the spray from the Falls to dash against the railway 
carriages ' ; and on one occasion at Groote Schuur, when 
discussing this project with the engineer in charge, he showed 
the keenest pleasure when told that the spray of the Falls 
would actually blow upon a train crossing the bridge, as it 
now does every day in the year a curious instance of 
imagination combined with immense financial ability. 

During this visit to England Rhodes was unanimotisly 
re-elected to the Board of the Chartered Company, and on 



THE UPRISING 297 



21st April he attended a general meeting of the shareholders, 
who had sensibly decided that they would be acting against 
their own interests in trying any longer to work without the 
man who was responsible for the very creation and existence 
of the Company. They received Rhodes with frantic 
applause, and as he stood ' looking out over that crowd of 
eager faces he seemed less impassive and more human than 
usual ; more like a modern man who knew what pain and 
suffering meant than, as he usually appeared, like a Roman 
Emperor born with an ambition to administer the world.' * 
A week or two later he addressed the shareholders of the 
Trans-Continental Telegraph Company, to whom he made 
what he termed ' a geographical speech/ taking them link 
by link ' up North/ from Salisbury to Cairo. Immediately 
thereafter he returned to the Cape in order to finish his 
election campaign, which he fought wholeheartedly, and 
some of his speeches at this time carry a more personal and 
a more explanatory word to the people than he had ever 
used before. In one speech, after explaining his earlier 
prevention of the German and Boer encroachments as 
endangering his schemes for South African union, he said : 
' If it had not been my good fortune to think of those ques- 
tions while looking for diamonds, there is not the slightest 
doubt that these territories would have passed to other 
European Powers. I do not claim any credit I simply say 
that they were the thoughts that came to me that is all. 
You may discover the microbe of the rinderpest, but I defy 
you ever to find the microbe of the human imagination. 
You do not know where it comes from, but it comes and the 
thoughts come, and you are moved as a human atom to 
carry out those thoughts ; and all that I can say is that 
before and during the period when I was your Prime Minister 
these thoughts came to me, though later, gentlemen, changes 
have been brought about owing to my own fault. I lost 
my position through my acts, but I am now simply putting 
this to you that, during the period while I had the respon- 
sibility, and questions occurred which I dealt with, I think 



298 EHODBS : A LIFE 

that I dealt fairly with them, and long, long after you and 
I are dead, I think history will say that certain big questions 
were dealt with by me for the benefit of the country at 
large.' 

On another occasion he said : c I honestly believe that my 
years of trouble have made me a better man. I had had a 
life of uninterrupted success, and then I had two years of 
considerable trouble, and I found, if I might put it to you 
personally, that I had an individuality that could stand 
trouble. I can tell you rather a good story. When I was 
proceeding from Salisbury to Bulawayo I was continually 
receiving telegrams from a gentleman who came from Mr. 
Farrar, then in gaol, stating that he had a most important 
message for me. This went on for some time, while the 
fighting was going on in the North. Ultimately I met him, 
and he gave me the message. It was this : " Don't bother 
about me. Do your work. I have found out one thing 
that there are those who are men and those who are 
monkeys." (Loud laughter.) I don't know under which 
of these he placed me, but I do say that my two years of 
trouble have made me a better man (cheers) and I am 
determined to go on with my work, the work of forming a 
railway junction with Egypt (loud cheers) and the work 
of closer union in South Africa/ (Renewed cheers.) 

Speaking at a meeting of farmers in his own constituency, 
in August 1898, he said : ' ... I do not desire you to return 

me as your representative for my own personal advantage 

I do not wish to be returned on race lines. I wish to be 
returned for a bigger idea than personal advantage, so that 
I may be able to say afterwards that I was returned not on 
race lines but by a vast majority of my old constituents, 
Dutch as well as English. I would not like to be returned 
solely by people of my own race, for I want to be able to 
point out in Parliament that I have the confidence of a 
large section of the Dutch electors. This constituency is 
composed of Dutch and English, and is, consequently, a 
very fair sample district of the country. ... I want to see 
equal rights and justice to both English and Dutch, and this 



THE UPRISING 299 



you must make the basis of your policy. You cannot live 
on race feeling. It will not give you new lands for your 
children, it will not feed your people, nor provide you with 
clothes to wear. This can never be a great country if the 
two races do not work together, but if they work together 
they can do anything. ... It is no use to stretch our 
imagination to the far interior of Africa unless the two races 
march together.' 

Being asked at one of his meetings to define the meaning 
of the name of his party (the Progressives) he said: 
' If any man has property, if any man has intelligence, if 
any man has a thought of progress, he is a Progressive. . . . 
The Party of Progress will have to consider equal rights for 
every civilised man.' 

The battle was fought, and the result of the election was 
that although the Progressives had polled a majority of 
votes about 50,000 against 36,000 they only secured 
thirty-nine seats against forty held by the Bond party in 
the House of Assembly, and so, being in a minority, formed 
the Opposition. This anomaly was at once seized on by the 
Progressive Party as proving the urgent need for redis- 
tribution. In the Upper House Rhodes's following was 
fourteen against nine of his opponents. Rhodes, having 
declined to take the advice offered by his political opponents 
and ' live in a hermit's hut somewhere on the banks of the 
Zambesi,' had returned to parliamentary life in addition to 
regaining his old position on the Board of the Chartered 
Company. He had risen triumphantly from the depths into 
which the events of 1895 had dragged him, and he was once 
more in a position to lead Cape Colony towards a union of 
all the South African States. ' I cannot understand people 
taking on a job and then not fim'afn'pg ft/ he explained. 



CHAPTEK XXIII 

THE BREAKING OF THE STORM 
1898-1899 

receiving the news of the taking of Omdurman on 6th 
September, 1898, Rhodes cabled to Kitchener : ' Glad you 
beat the Khalifa. We have just finished our elections and 
result promises to be a tie. I hear Frank is wounded. 
They certainly should now restore his commission. His 
heart is set on it. My telegraph will shortly be at south end 
of Tanganyika. If you don't look sharp, in spite of your 
victory, I shall reach Uganda before you.' To which 
Kitchener, with characteristic brevity, replied from Omdur- 
man twenty days later : ' Thanks. Frank well. Reinstated. 
My southern station Sobat. Hurry up.' 

At this time Rhodes was extremely anxious as to the 
terms of the new Order in Council, which was to a certain 
extent intended to limit the powers of the Chartered Com- 
pany in the future. However, when this was issued in 
October 1898, he found that it laid down with great fairness 
plans for the future government of Rhodesia. Its most 
important stipulation was for the formation of a Legislative 
Council for Southern Rhodesia of a quasi-representative 
character, to assist the Resident Commissioner a new post 
formed by the Order, which was to be filled by an officer 
under the control of the Imperial authorities. * This Council, 
in the first instance, was to consist of four members to be 
elected by popular vote, being two each from the pro- 
vinces of Mashonaland and Matabeleland, and five members 
nominated by the Chartered Company. In addition to 
these, the Administrators of Mashonaland and Matabeleland 

300 



THE BREAKING OF THE STORM 301 

respectively were to be ex-officio members of the Council. 
Seeing that the Chartered Company was still to remain 
responsible for finding the necessary capital for the adminis- 
tration and development of the country, it was only right 
and proper that it should have the predominant voice on 
this Council, whose most important duties would be to 
decide how the money should be expended. 

c The Order further provided for the appointment of an 
Imperial Officer to decide how the police and other armed 
forces of Rhodesia should be employed. In the case of this 
officer, and in that of the Resident Commissioner, salaries 
had to be provided for out of the funds of the British South 
Africa Company, though the company, and quite properly, 
had no voice whatever in the selection of these two 
officials. 1 ' 

Early in 1899 the trans-African telegraph, which Rhodes 
considered the pioneer of civilisation, was actually approach- 
ing Tanganyika, and he became anxious as to its continuation 
and also for the further extension of his railway. Although 
he had done all in his power to rescue for Britain even the 
narrowest strip of territory through which his iron road 
might run, owing to the shortsightedness of the Imperial 
Government the Congo and German East Africa now barred 
the way. In 1894 provision had been made to construct 
this through the Congo territory, and Sir Charles Metcalfe, 
who like Rhodes had great vision, had already surveyed the 
route, but King Leopold of Belgium now placed difficulties 
in the way, and Rhodes began to consider an alternative 
route through German East Africa. 

In the north, Kitchener was working to enable the 
Egyptian section of the railway to be carried down to the 
borders of Uganda, and in this connection arrangements had 
definitely been made to ensure the gauge of the two lines 
being the same. The only problem, therefore, that remained 
to the two builders of Empire, working in different ways at 
opposite ends of the vast continent, was the linking up of 
the two systems from Tanganyika to the south of Uganda. 

1 Henfiman. 



302 RHODES : A LIFE 

With this in his mind, Rhodes sailed for England on 28th 
December, arriving in London on 14th January, 1899. He 
at once set to work over the northern extension of his railway 
and again urged upon the Imperial Government the benefit 
that would accrue to British manufacturing centres if he got 
a financial guarantee from it to enable him to borrow money 
more readily ; but the Chancellor of the Exchequer Hicks 
Beach was obdurate and c almost abusive/ Rhodes did not 
sit down and, to quote his own expression, ' twirl his thumbs 
and wail ' over this defeat ; but got busily to work with 
Alfred Beit, and in a very short time his indefatigable efforts 
produced a scheme which the investing public took up very 
readily, subscribing no less than three millions sterling 
for the carrying on of the railway from Bulawayo to 
Tanganyika. They did not even get five per cent., being 
satisfied with four. There may have been a touch of 
philanthropy in their response, for coming to know of his 
second rebuff over the opening up of the Dark Continent, 
as Central Africa was then generally described, they backed 
him nobly, determined evidently to give him every help to 
gain the objective he had planned to reach, which was 
attained sooner than even Rhodes anticipated, and the four 
per cent, continues to be paid on the full capital provided. 
* There is no reason/ said Rhodes on one occasion, ' why 
philanthropy should not be combined with business. The 
English believe in philanthropy, but with five per cent.' 
Said the first Lord Leverhulme, c There is no room for 
philanthropy in business.' Of the two views expressed, that 
of Rhodes was undoubtedly the sounder. 

Having fixed up that part of the business, he made a 
short trip to Egypt in the early part of February, when he 
was accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Rochfort Maguire and 
Sir Charles Metcalfe. He had never been to Egypt before, 
and it appealed to him greatly. At the time numbers of 
visitors were there from all lands, and he made many new 
acquaintances, finding there was little to do in Cairo but 
talk and visit the most interesting sights. For a short time 
he enjoyed it all, but once he had finished the particular 



THE BREAKING or THE STORM 303 

work that had taken him there the negotiation of an 
agreement with the Egyptian Government for the right of 
constructing his trans-continental telegraph line and a 
tariff of rates for the same he soon grew restless and told 
the Maguires that ' the charm of laziness ' was falling upon 
him, and that he ' must be up and doing.' Fortunately he 
met Sir John Aird and certain others of the Nile ' barrage 
builders/ and railway contractors, and was able to discuss 
irrigation and railways with them. He also was lucky 
enough to meet Kitchener, who was on his way to London, 
and the two were able to renew a friendship which had 
begun some years previously. He felt, however, that he 
was not doing a c reasonable day's work,' although, as Mr. 
Edward Dicey, who was there at the time, remarked : 
' Judged by the ordinary European standard Rhodes is 
doing a full day's work while he supposes himself to be 
having a holiday. 5 He left Egypt at the end of the month 
and crossed to Rome, where he met Jameson and Mr. (now 
Sir) Edmund Davis, and after a long talk with the former he 
went on to Berlin with Davis and Metcalf e, where he arrived 
on 10th March, and with his usual thoroughness he at once 
set about exploring all possible channels towards the early 
extension of his railway and telegraph. He visited both 
Leopold IE. of Belgium and the German Kaiser in order to 
discover which of the two he could more easily persuade to 
consider favourably his proposals. And as after this he 
always spoke of Leopold with intense dislike, saying he was 
more grasping and harder to deal with than ' Black Michael ' 
(Hicks Beach), while he seemed to have established a happy 
footing with the Kaiser, we can guess which of the two he 
found the more amenable. 

At Berlin Rhodes paid little heed to Court etiquette 
a characteristic which amused the ' War Lord ' greatly. 
When they had been conversing for some time and the 
Kaiser was very interested in Rhodes's conversation, Rhodes 
glanced at a clock and, completely oblivious of any indis- 
cretion, held out his hand to the Emperor, to the latter's 
amusement, and instead of waiting to be dismissed, merely 



304 RHODES : A LIFE 

said, ' Well, good-bye. I have to go now, as I have some 
people coming to dinner.' I 

As a result of their discussion the Kaiser assured Rhodes 
that he should have every facility for taking his telegraph 
through German East Africa, with to Rhodes the valuable 
condition that if the Germans were unable to find capital for 
a railway line through German East Africa, he should be 
allowed to construct this, although in that event the Germans 
expected a large share of the profits on any railway running 
through their territory. 

The final agreement was signed at the end of that year, 
and just before this Rhodes had cabled in his usual friendly 
way to the Emperor, * What about my telegraph ? I am 
close to the German border and should not like to enter 
German territory without authority.' 2 As this cable from 
Rhodes reached the Kaiser when he was on the point of 
visiting England and wished to impress the world with his 
friendliness to all things British, the final permission was 
immediately given. 

Less than a year after this agreement the telegraph had 
been laid over fifty miles of German territory, but for once 
Rhodes's judgment of men was badly at fault, since at his 
interview with the Emperor he allowed the latter to allay 
all his early, and well-founded, apprehension of German 
intentions with regard to British Dominions in Africa, and 
subsequently referred to him as a broad-minded man. * I 
liked the Kaiser, 9 said Rhodes, "because he gave his 
interest so thoroughly to my ideas and asked intelligent 
questions.' 

Before crossing to England Rhodes visited Amsterdam 
and the Hague, where he spent a day or two looking at some 
old Dutch furniture which he had heard of and was anxious 
to secure for Groote Schuur. It was, however, generally 
believed that his presence there had some other significance, 
but if so he kept the object to himself. When he reached 
London he found that Kitchener had arrived there on leave, 
and the two saw much of each other in London, where they 
1 Le Sueur. * Williams. 



THE BREAKING OF THE STORM 305 

formed a habit of riding together in the Park in the early 
morning. 

The two friends were together given the degree of D.C.L. 
at Oxford, and the reception accorded to Rhodes on this 
occasion afforded him the keenest satisfaction. In speaking 
of it, he always added, ' One's troubles have brought out 
one's friends.' There is no doubt that he was very nervous 
and shy under the stares of the undergraduates, one of 
whom shouted at a critical moment, ' Don't look so bored, 
Rhodes ! ' l and upset his nerves somewhat, but after the 
ceremony he referred to this interruption in the sporting 
spirit in which it had been made. 

Early in May Rhodes addressed a great meeting of the 
shareholders of the British South Africa Company. Share- 
holders began to arrive at the hall where it was held at 
seven in the morning, although the hour fixed for the meeting 
was noon. By that time the place was overflowing and the 
street blocked, and when Rhodes arrived the enthusiasm 
of the crowd was such as has rarely been seen at similar 
gatherings. Rhodes was deeply moved, and told his audience 
that he was somewhat overcome by the warmth of the 
welcome that had been accorded him, and he asked that 
his audience would bear this in mind in case of any short- 
comings in his speech. In the course of this he gave the 
fullest information as to the progress and contemplated 
extension of ' your ' railways and telegraph line to the 
north, ' a line that a few years ago was classed by a great 
many as a wild-cat scheme.' 

In regard to the acquisition and development of Southern 
and Northern Rhodesia, he quoted a conversation he had 
with Mr. Gladstone some years before on the subject of 
fresh territories and development and administration. ' Mr. 
Gladstone said to me, " My fear is that we have not the 
people to administer them." I replied, " There is no fear of 
that ; if you will only take the countries, you will find people 
who are capable of administering them." That was brought 
home to me only the other day in Egypt, where I saw eight 

1 Jourdan. 
M.O.B. 



306 RHODES : A LIFE 

millions of people governed by one man, Lord Cromer. You 
read your history of your Rameses, of your Memnon and 
many others, but do not forget that there is a single Eng- 
lishman there greater than them all. This shows that we 
have not lost our capacity for administering new countries, 
especially if they are occupied by what are called the subject 
races the black and the yellow. We have also not lost the 
knack of distribution. Our mercantile fleet is better than 
ever.' 

He touched on the increase of manufactured products com- 
ing into Great Britain from other countries, and particularly 
to c that label " Made in Germany," and, with no hostility to 
the other countries, I mention it simply as a warning to our 
own people.' He dealt with many other matters, including 
attacks made on hi by Exeter Hall and the Aborigines 
Protection Society, and showed in a masterly fashion that 
they had been listening to and had been misled by state- 
ments having no foundation in fact whatsoever. Returning 
from the hall at the conclusion of the meeting, he was 
cheered to the echo and was not allowed to get away from 
the crowd till he had made another speech on the steps of 
the building, and even then he was followed by hundreds of 
cheering enthusiasts to St. Swithin's Lane, where the office 
of his company was. 

On the occasion of this visit he went down twice to the 
Salvation Army farms and had long conversations with 
General Booth in regard to a settlement scheme for Rhodesia. 
It was arranged that the General should go out to South 
Africa to look into this matter more fully, which he after- 
wards did, but it was unfortunate that the South African 
War deferred the visit till after Rhodes's death. 

He also stayed at Sandringham for a day or two with the 
Prince of Wales (afterwards King Edward VII.), and both 
he and the Princess became his warm friends and took the 
keenest interest in his work in Africa. On this occasion 
H.R.H. questioned and re-questioned him over his interview 
with the Kaiser, and finally said, ' You were fortunate, Mr. 
Rhodes ; he is sometimes very difficult.' 



THE BREAKING OF THE STORM 307 

In mid-June Rhodes left for the Cape, and on this voyage 
Princess Radziwill was, of intention, a fellow-traveller. She 
had met Rhodes at a social function in London the previous 
year and, being by nature an adventuress and entirely un- 
scrupulous, she decided to make what use she could of him. 
On the first night of the voyage, when Rhodes was already 
seated for dinner at a small table such as he always had 
reserved for his own party, the Princess, coming in rather 
late and apparently flustered, made straight for that table, 
at which there happened to be a vacant place, and seated 
herself. After some time she appeared to think it well to say 
that she realised she had come there uninvited, but asked 
so pathetically if she might remain that, in common polite- 
ness, Rhodes had to consent to her forming one of his party. 
Thus Princess Radziwill entered Rhodes's life at a most 
unfortunate time. He knew his health was failing, and he 
had now the fear of suffering always before him, bringing 
the inevitable end to all his work. After a life oddly free 
from woman's association and sympathy, this adventuress, 
who was bright and amusing though by no means beautiful, 
forced herself upon him when he made no great effort to 
withstand such an attack. He accepted her friendship 
but no more ; gave her money, as he did to almost everyone 
who asked for it, in order to help her finance a weekly review 
which she said she contemplated starting, only to find him- 
self later almost dragged into a net of ugly intrigue which . 
she had created. 

On his arrival at Cape Town Rhodes received an immense 
welcome from the people there, which was supplemented by 
representatives from every part of South Africa south of the 
Zambesi Blantyre in Nyasaland even sent its address of 
welcome and congratulation. The horses were taken from 
his carriage and loyal citizens dragged him to the Drill Hall, 
where a great reception had been arranged, which developed 
into an unparalleled popular demonstration that must have 
deeply touched him. In thanking them he said : ' I recognise 
what this is for : it is for the work the idea which is passing 
from the era of imagination to practical completion ; the 



308 EHODBS : A LIFE 

" idea of the lunatic " has passed into the idea of practical 
sanity. The only practical thing is the progress of time. 
We do get older and we do become a little hurried in our 
ideas in the course of the terrible time. You can conquer 
anything ; you can conquer, if you will allow me to say so, 
even raids. But time you can never interfere with, and so 
we have to complete with all the rapidity we can the project 
which is before us that is, the project of uniting the North 
and the South of Africa. I have told you I have obtained 
the money to go to the North, money for all the work of 
advance during the next four years, and I hope that from 
Egypt they will come down to meet us. I look upon 
the question of the trans -continental telegraph and rail- 
way as practically over; it is now merely a question of 
time ! 

I am working, I tell you, not only for the union of the 
country, but for a union of races, and that will come once 
the principle of equal rights is accepted for every civilised 
man south of the Zambesi. Now you ask what I mean by 
a civilised man. Well, I mean by civilised man any man, 
quite irrespective of colour, who can write his name, place 
of residence and occupation, and who is a worker or possessed 
of some property.' 

At Woodstock, Mowbray, Claremont, and other suburban 
towns he received similar receptions, and in the course of 
the week following his arrival he made various speeches, 
from which I quote a few short extracts : 

* The people of England,' he said in Cape Town, ' are 
finding out that " trade follows the flag," and they have all 
become Imperialists. They are not going to part with any 
territory. They intend to retain every inch of land they 
have got/ 

He had the greatest affection for Cape Town and for its 
people, and he never failed to point out its advantages. * It 
has been for two or three centuries,' he said, e one of the 
greatest of the world's taverns, and it has been placed 
geographically so that it will always remain such. Look 
now at its wealth and prosperity and the noble position it 



THE BREAKING OP THE STORM 309 

has attained, and remember that these results have accrued 
from the North ; and it is only just beginning/ 

In speaking at Mowbray he said : ' We must keep the 
continent together the differences between the English and 
Dutch will pass away. The country is fortunate in that it 
has been able to secure its hinterland, and it is therefore free 
from the interference of alien Powers. We must now work 
together for the uniting of Africa from Cape Town to 
Tanganyika a,nd so create a great country.' At Claremont 
he said : ' It is needless for me to tell you that Free Trade 
principles have not prevailed ; on the contrary, it has been 
the policy of every Power that has acquired a new depen- 
dency to introduce Protection, and who can blame them for 
seeking all the advantages they can get to repay them for 
the trouble and expense of developing it. I discussed this 
matter once with Mr. Gladstone, that great pillar of Eree 
Trade, but his lack of knowledge as regards the Colonies 
prevented him from obtaining a true view of the position ; 
still, he did admit to me that if every country put up a hostile 
tariff against her it would be a poor look-out for Britain/ 

At Wynberg he said : ' If we insist on equal rights, and 
equal rights must be open to every civilised man, the result 
will be the salvation of South Africa. Nothing will prevent 
me from speaking of matters on which the future of this 
Colony and the future of South Africa depends, and I say 
to you that the prosperity of the whole country hinges on 
the federal union of South Africa, and so long as I am able 
to I will never cease speaking to this effect. . . . Whatever 
happens, I shall, let me repeat, carry out my policy, working 
to keep the North with the South, working to heal the 
antagonistic feelings which have arisen between the two 
races, in the earnest hope that even in our own time we may 
make a union of South and Central Africa. 

' As to the " coloured people " (that is to those who carry 
a good deal of white blood in their bodies) I owe them a 
deep debt of obligation for the work they have done for me 
in Rhodesia. They helped to storm the fastnesses of the 
Matopos in Matabeleland. They did so not once but re- 



310 RHODES: A LIFE 

peatedly, and I regard them as one of the great sources of 
prosperity in this country. On my fruit farms I find them 
invaluable . . . there are no better labourers. ... I am 
thankful of the opportunity of making these statements. 

c When we commenced the policy of taking up the North 
the thought that guided one in one's ideas was that the world 
was limited, that the country to which we belong should 
have as much of it as it could possibly get. This was a 
consideration which affected not only the people at home, 
but the people here, including not only English but Dutch. 
Opponents of expansion constantly urge, " What do you do 
for us ? We have helped Canada and Australia, and the 
first thing they do is to place huge tariffs against us and 
shut out our goods." Now practically, apart from the 
sentiment of a great Empire, the British are a commercial 
people, and yet these colonies, having gained all the advan- 
tages of self-government, shut out British goods. . . . Hav- 
ing thought out this matter a great deal, we have now in 
the constitution of our new country namely, Rhodesia 
the best answer to these critics, for that constitution contains 
a " clause " (now known, I may say, as the " Rhodes clause ") 
that in a territory representing 800,000 square miles of the 
world's surface the duties on British goods shall not exceed 
the present Cape tariff. . . . Having adopted that principle 
in the constitution of the country, I see no possibility of 
its being changed. It is a sacred thing, and it is the return 
to England for the blood and treasure she may spend on the 
protection and security of the new country. ... I had a 
great battle over the wording of the clause the late Ministry 
wished me to put it that the duty on imported goods should 
not exceed the present Cape tariff, but I said, " No, I will 
have it British not imported." The politics of the next 
hundred years are going to be tariffs and nothing else. We 
are no longer going to war for the amusement of royal 
families as in the past, we mean practical business. America, 
say, will have to be told that they must change their tariff 
or Great Britain will put a tariff against them. The United 
States would not hold out for twenty-four hours, but would 



THE BREAKING OF THE STORM 311 

say it was perfectly good business, and would meet us on 
the tariff basis. . . . The time will come, although prob- 
ably most of us will be gone, when the British Government 
will say to the world, " We will give you Free Trade and 
admit your raw products, but you must admit our manu- 
factures, and until you do so we will not give you equal 
privileges." * 

Surely greater conceptions have never entered any human 
brain, and yet among the thousands of listeners how few had 
ever had the imagination, the courage, to follow the dauntless 
confidence he showed in seeking to bring about the union of 
the two ' stiff-necked ' races English and Dutch. 

But now they began at last to ponder the subject. He 
had awakened them to sentiment. ' Sentiment rules the 
world/ he once said, c but how often does one's pocket rule 
sentiment ! * 

Jameson was waiting at Groote Schuur, anxious, as he 
always was now, over the health of his Chief. Rhodes, who, 
as we know, had always slept easily and thus been able to 
gain rest from his many cares and responsibilities, had now 
found sleep become difficult, and, with the idea of shortening 
those hours during which he was accustomed to lie awake, 
he learned to play bridge and got to like ' a modest game.' 
This resulted in rather later hours, though he still went to 
bed by eleven o'clock. What troubled him greatly was that 
he was unable to take such long early morning rides, which 
he had enjoyed for so many years, but he still went out, 
though for much shorter periods. 'Horse exercise,' he 
frequently said, 'is good for the lungs and the brain. It 
increases the activity of both.' 

Since she came from England, Princess Radziwill had been 
a good deal at Groote Schuur. At first Rhodes frequently 
asked her to lunch or dine ; but later, when he found that 
she persisted in discussing politics with him (she was a 
correspondent of certain French and Russian newspapers), 
he became weary of her visits, and on one occasion he 
exclaimed that unless she could comply with his wishes, to 
drop interfering in politics, she had better not speak to him 



312 RHODES : A LIFE 

at all ! It has been freely stated that Rhodes was thoroughly 
hoodwinked by this extremely clever adventuress, but as the 
following incident will show he had not taken very long to 
realise fully the danger of the woman. At this time I was 
down at Groote Schuur on a short visit, and one day, just 
before lunch, he said to me, ' I'm sorry, McDonald, that I 
must ask you to stay on duty this afternoon and deprive 
you of the joy of bathing with your lady friends at 
Muizenberg, but the Princess is coming and Metoalfe has 
failed to return, so I want you to be here and on no account 
leave me alone with her. Never mind what she may say to 
you or how she may look at you. You must put up with it 
till Metcalfe, Smartt, or Jourdan returns.' Lunch passed 
pleasantly, but afterwards I had a very uncomfortable time 
of it till about half -past three when Metcalfe arrived and 
enabled me to get away from the lady's envenomed looks. 
Soon after this the visits of the Princess became less frequent, 
and when he eventually told her that he could only ask her 
to lunch as she was antagonising his friends, she became very 
angry, and from that time worked steadily and continuously 
by underhand means to destroy Rhodes's prestige. 

During his absence the tension between British settlers 
and the South African Republic had been steadily in- 
creasing, and now on his return to the Cape the position 
appeared so serious that whispers of actual war began to be 
heard. Rhodes kept away from any negotiations or any 
public expression of his feelings in regard to this crisis, 
saying, 'I made a mistake with regard to the Transvaal 
once, and that is quite enough for me. A burnt child dreads 
the fire. I keep aloof from the Transvaal crisis, so that no 
one will be able to say if things go wrong that Rhodes is in 
it again.' 

But in spite of ominous warnings neither Rhodes nor 
Jameson believed that the old Transvaal President, arrogant 
and overbearing though he was, would ever actually be in open 
conflict with the Imperial Government. With many others 
they declared that Kruger was merely playing a game of 
bluff. ' The notion of the Transvaal being able to trouble 



THE BREAKING OF THE STORM 313 

Great Britain at all seriously,' said Rhodes, ' is too ridiculous. 
I cannot really think about it. It is too ridiculous. . . . 
There is not the slightest chance of war, but the Imperial 
Government are going to get the terms which are demanded 
as being fair and right to the Uitlanders.' l This opinion 
was almost universal in the summer of 1899, even though 
Great Britain had been taught by many a severe lesson in 
the past that it is the height of unwisdom to hold a possible 
opponent too cheaply. 

About this time various discontented spirits attempted to 
make a rift in the friendship existing between Rhodes and 
Milner. Rhodes by devious means was offered the support 
of the Bond and the Premiership of the Colony if he would 
throw his influence against Milner, but the following letter 
from the latter proves conclusively with what a sincere 
understanding the two worked for the good of South Africa. 
' It is a crazy scheme,' writes Milner, c and it is not from 
any fear of your lending an ear to it, especially after the 
generous and consistent support you have shown me through 
all this trying crisis and that at a time when my position 
was much weaker than it is to-day that I am writing these 
lines . . . (but) in view of the future and of the infinite 
importance, for public reasons, of a continued good personal 
understanding and absolute frankness between you and me 
about the lies, innuendoes, and suggestions which may be 
poured into your ear in the course of it. Therefore I say to 
you precisely as you once said to me if you are told any- 
thing about myself, which implies either that I distrust your 
co-operation with me, or that I wish to hamper your own 
big work or detract from the influence which you exercise 
and always must exercise in the development of South Africa 
please do me the justice and the kindness absolutely to 
disbelieve it. I don't for the life of me see why we should 
ever clash, for there is work enough for both of us, in all 
conscience, in the next year or two, in working out the future 
of tho great British country here, which is going, I trust, 
not only to federate itself, as a free nation like Canada and 

1 Hensman. 



314 KHODES : A LIFE 

Australia, but to be one of the means of federating the 
Empire. 

' Of course, we may differ, here and there, as to policy. 
If so, I am sure we can in the future, as in the past, discuss 
all differences frankly and with mutual trust, brushing aside 
the suspicions and the arriere-pensees which certain reptiles 
are never tired of trying to implant in the minds of both 
of us.' 1 

So definite had rumours of war now become that the Cape 
House of Assembly decided it was time to take steps to 
ensure the return of all colonial railway locomotives and 
rolling stock now running on the Netherland and Free State 
railways, in the event of hostilities. Sauer, however, sadly 
informed the House that he had already tried to get his 
trucks back, but that evasive answers had been returned to 
his request, and that unfortunately 535 Cape railway trucks 
were now being held in the Transvaal. This news thoroughly 
alarmed the members, but they were powerless to act, and 
as a result not only did Kruger's burghers later carry arms 
obtained from the Cape, but they were also conveyed to the 
front in trucks belonging to the Cape railways ! 

On 1st September the leading members of the Johannes- 
burg Press were arrested by the Government of the Transvaal, 
as a result of which ten thousand British troops were imme- 
diately ordered to South Africa. Meanwhile the Transvaal 
authorities further horrified the placid politicians at the Cape 
by seizing hundreds of tons of coal on its way to the Colony 
and forcibly removing half a million sterling of raw gold on 
its way south from the Hand. 

The inhabitants of Kimberley, however, did not share the 
mistaken optimism which prevailed at the Cape, and realising 
that in the event of war President Steyn would support the 
forces of the Transvaal with those of the Free State, tele- 
graphed to Schreiner : c If you cannot or will not protect us 
give us arms and we will protect ourselves ' ; to which the 
Cape Premier soothingly replied : ' There is no reason 
whatever for apprehending that Kimberley is or will be 

i Williams. 



THE BREAKING or THE STORM 315 

in any danger of attack. Your fears are, therefore, ground- 



A curious little interlude now occurred. Rhodes, hearing 
that the Pretoria Zoological Gardens had lost their two lions 
from disease, presented them with a young one, but instead 
of the usual acknowledgment he received the following letter, 
and the returned lion itself : 

PRETORIA, 

DEN, 25th September, 1899. 

SIB, I have the honour to inform you that my 
Government and my Committee are highly displeased at 
my lion transaction concluded with you at your house on 
Friday, 15th September ; they have forbidden me to keep 
the lion, and have ordered me to return it to you. I have 
made arrangements for feeding the lion on the road down, 
and hope it will arrive in good condition. 

I regret exceedingly I accepted your generous offer, 
which I could have known would not be favourably received 
by my countrymen ; but only my great desire to acquire 
the animal for our local Zoo, made me forget all existing 
differences. I have the honour to be, Sir, 
Yours obediently, 

(Sgd.) J. W. E. GUNNING, 
Director of the State Museum. 

Events now moved rapidly, and the Orange Free State by a 
resolution of its Parliament agreed to stand by the Transvaal. 
The people of Kimberley , seriously alarmed at this news, used 
every endeavour to fortify the town. Volunteers were called 
out ; the Town Guard and the Diamond Field Artillery were 
mustered, and gradually the news leaked out that, in the 
event of hostilities, Rhodes intended to go up there. In 
spite of many warnings he received at this time, it was with 
him a point of honour to be at Kimberley, which town he 
always said had made him, in its hour of distress, in order 
to be at hand to take all possible steps for the protection of 
the town and the diamond mines. 



316 RHODES : A LIFE 

Therefore on the evening of 9th October Khod.es, with 
Dr. Smartt, slipped quietly away from Groote Schuur leav- 
ing guests actually staying in the house in ignorance of their 
host's departure and went north on the last train to reach 
Kimberley before the siege. 

Ahead were Boer commandos rapidly arming and mobi- 
lising ; behind, Cape Town lay wrapped in an atmosphere 
of hushed expectancy ; while across the Atlantic, troopships 
were already hurrying the armed forces of the mother- 
country to the support of those long-tried British residents 
in the Transvaal. The Imperial Government had realised 
at last that now the issue of what had once been merely a 
protest against the misgovernment of Kruger, had become 
the whole question of British supremacy in South Africa. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

WAR 
1899-1900 

THE President of the South African Republic had in no way 
modified his harsh policy towards the Uitlanders since the 
Jameson Raid, and, having been re-elected wM/h a huge 
majority in 1898, he became more bitter and aggressive than 
ever, and promptly, after his re-election, declined to consider 
the report of an Industrial Commission his Executive had 
appointed, in which a number of recommendations had been 
made which, had they been acted on, would in all probability 
have brought about a settlement that would have been 
acceptable to the Uitlanders, whose grievances had become 
greatly aggravated since 1896, and were at this date (1898) 
almost intolerable. Writing to President Steyn of the Orange 
Free State, Mr. John X. Merriman said : 6 . . . The present 
state of affairs (in the Transvaal) cannot last. It must 
break down from inherent rottenness, and it will be well if 
the fall does not sweep away the freedom of us all ... .' 

Sir Alfred Milner, the High Commissioner, made repeated 
efforts to secure reforms from the Transvaal Government, 
but all to no avail, and the Uitlanders about April 1899 took 
the extreme course of sending a petition to Queen Victoria. 
This petition was signed by over twenty-one thousand 
British subjects, who, with a further large number of 
Uitlanders elsewhere, were paying nine-tenths of all the 
taxes and getting no representation whatsoever. Even the 
friends of the Pretoria Executive warned that body to give 
way. Sir John Robinson, one of Natal's leading statesmen 
and a man possessing a great sympathy with the Dutch, 



318 RHODES : A LIFE 

whom he knew well, was in the end driven to say : c The 
gold mines of their country brought to the Transvaal 
Government temptation to corruption and extortion, to 
nepotism and abuse, and an unlimited capacity to do any- 
thing, to purchase anything, to pursue any policy or gratify 
any ambition which unscrupulous counsels or deep-laid 
designs might suggest. They provided the motive power by 
which the Press might be suborned, opponents squared, 
political influence extended, European opinion controlled 
and guided, forts erected and equipped, cannon and rifles 
imported, local forces organised, the resources of intrigue 
and diplomacy employed without regard to cost or limit.' 

Discussing the situation in the Transvaal, on a visit to 
England about this time, the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier stated 
to a well-known politician that ' he could find no sympathy 
for President Kruger, whom he considered an anachronism 
and a stumbling-block to the progressive national life of 
South Africa. It was utterly unreasonable that he should 
hold up a great country in its forward march of freedom, 
unity, and enlightenment. Kruger would get no support 
from Canada. 9 

Many others, such as Sir Henry de Villiers and Mr. J. H. 
Hofmeyx, urged on Kruger the vital necessity for some re- 
dress for the Uitlanders, but that firm autocrat steadily 
refused and scorned the idea of any intervention on the part 
of Great Britain, which was daily becoming more and more 
inevitable unless the situation very soon altered materially 
for the better. This, however, showed no sign of happening, 
and a proposal, emanating curiously enough from both at 
the same time, was made by Mr. Chamberlain, then Secre- 
tary of State for the Colonies, and President Steyn, that 
a conference between Milner and Kruger should be held 
at Bloemfontein, 'whereat there might be concluded an 
arrangement which the British Government might accept as a 
reasonable concession to the just demands of the Uitlanders/ 

This suggestion was accepted, and the Conference sat 
during the first week of June 1899 but proved abortive, 
Kruger having evidently made up his mind that with the 



WAR 319 

help of European friends (Germany and France in par- 
ticular) and others in South Africa he could safely risk 
freeing the Transvaal completely from the British suzerainty, 
when he would perhaps succeed in creating a federation of 
all the South African States under Republican Government. 
Strenuous efforts were then made by all the leading states- 
men of the Cape, Orange Tree State, and Natal to persuade 
Kruger and his Executive to yield to Milner's minimum terms, 
but the President would concede none of them. On 31st 
July further efforts were made, and the President finally 
agreed on 18th August to certain of the demands provided 
that Great Britain should never again interfere in the 
internal affairs of the Transvaal, drop her suzerainty, and 
refer all future disputes to arbitration. These conditions 
were naturally impossible of acceptance by the British 
Government. Further correspondence ensued, however, 
and meanwhile on 27th September the Orange Free State 
gave Kruger a formal assurance that in the event of war, 
which was undoubtedly what President Kruger was en- 
deavouring to bring about, it would join up with the 
Transvaal. It was now clear to nearly everyone that war 
was inevitable, and in the first week of October well over 
50,000 Uitlanders left that country. Thousands of these 
joined Colonial regiments which were being formed, and 
Natal placed the whole of her resources at the disposal of 
the Imperial Government, while strong support was given 
by the British in the Cape, and most of the Dutch element, 
who had benefited greatly under British rule, remained 
neutral throughout the two and a half years' fighting. On 
12th October, Free State Boers invaded Cape Colony ; the 
Transvaal Commander-in-Chief took possession of Laing's 
Nek in Natal and the country found itself engaging in what 
turned out to be a long and grim struggle. 

Owing to a slight accident the train by which Rhodes 
travelled did not reach Kimberley until a few hours after 
war had been declared. The Boer forces were already 
encircling the town, the train was fired on, and Rhodes 
himself narrowly escaped capture. 



320 RHODES : A LIFE 

Jameson was now hurrying down from the north, deter- 
mined if there was to be fighting, that he would be in it ; but 
he was too late to get into Kimberley with Rhodes, and so 
made for Ladysmith, where he was forced to remain through- 
out the siege, which lasted from 4th November, 1899, until 
28th February, 1900. Jameson's curious propensity for 
getting into uncomfortable places had certainly guided him 
now, Ladysmith was a mean little town of brick and 
corrugated iron, situated in low country, shut in by high 
hills. In the heat of the year the temperature there often 
reached 104 degrees in the shade. ' The garrison numbered 
over thirteen thousand men, and there were besides two 
thousand Europeans and about six thousand Kaffirs and 
Indians ... in addition to thousands of horses and mules, 
as well as flocks and herds. Small wonder Ladysmith was 
swept by enteric and dysentery. At one time there were 
two thousand patients in hospitals arranged to hold three 
hundred ; food ran short ; and the town was continually 
peppered by the Boer guns.' I Jameson, who for a while did 
all he could to alleviate the sickness and suffering, caught 
typhoid himself, and, when the town was relieved, he had 
to be carried down to Durban looking more dead than alive. 

Rhodes, who scarcely ever spoke of his own ex- 
periences in Kimberley, was wont to say pettishly that 
Jameson had had no business whatever to be in Ladysmith, 
where he could do no possible good. There is no doubt that 
the two friends were each at this time a cause of consider- 
able anxiety to the other. 

Instinctively realising that, in the event of trouble, Rhodes 
would go to Kimberley, Grimmer also made his way down 
country from Inyanga, determined to be with his chief ; but 
he arrived too late and was forced to wait until the end of 
the siege before rejoining Rhodes, meanwhile doing service 
in one of the many regiments of irregular horse that were 
being created for the time being. 

Kimberley was considered sufficiently strong to withstand 
even a lengthy siege. It was capable of putting up a great 

1 Colvin. 



WAR 321 

defence, as was clearly shown by after events, and its capture 
would certainly have entailed an even larger loss of life than 
the Boers were ready to face. The inhabitants, however, were 
confronted by the greater fear of famine, and the necessity of 
ensuring a sufficient water supply made it imperative to ex- 
tend the circle of defence, which for this reason was more 
than eight miles in extent. Colonel Kekewich commanded 
the garrison, and martial law was proclaimed directly the 
Boers surrounded the town. 

The numerous natives who had hitherto worked on the 
mines presented a tremendous problem to the besieged. 
They numbered twenty-five thousand, and, with the mines 
closed down, it was extremely difficult to form any plan for 
avoiding a panic and keeping them out of mischief. Here 
Rhodes stepped into the breach. Unperturbed by the 
anxieties of the present, he still looked ahead and had already 
considered how to turn evil into good and employ usefully the 
numbers of natives, whom most of the inhabitants of Kim- 
berley now regarded merely as a menace. Some were 
encouraged to slip through the Boer lines, which they 
managed to do. The remainder he set to work planting 
trees, making roads (one of which was named ' Siege 
Avenue ') and clearing ground for the erection of future 
suburbs to the town. 

The strictest discipline was necessarily enforced. Every- 
body was placed on half rations, while under Rhodes's 
direction extra hospitals and soup kitchens were improvised. 
En addition to this work, and seeing the need of more men 
bo garrison the town, Rhodes organised a new force the 
Kimberley Light Horse paying all the expenses in connec- 
tion with the raising and equipment of this from his own 
pocket. The force numbered over three hundred men and 
proved a very useful contingent. 

On his arrival Rhodes had settled down quietly in his 
iiouse, c The Sanatorium.' With his customary disregard 
Df danger he went the rounds every day still dressed in the 
jrey flannel coat and white trousers which made him a mark 
For any Boer sniper, but which, in spite of many protests, 
M.O.K. z 



322 RHODES : A LIFE 

he never discarded seeking out cases of illness and suffering 
and doing his utmost to alleviate them. On one occasion, 
finding a man very ill with fever, Rhodes asked if there was 
anything he wanted. ' Milk/ begged the patient, naming 
the one commodity which at this time was almost unknown 
in Kimberley. Without a word Rhodes left the house, but 
returned early the next morning and awkwardly deposited 
a small medicine bottle filled with milk in an inconspicuous 
corner of the room. By many such private and quiet 
charities he further endeared himself to the townsfolk, the 
mine-workers, and the natives, all of whom were already 
much attached to him ; but he very quickly became un- 
popular with the military. 

Although he accomplished so much valuable work in the 
besieged town, it must be admitted that for a man of his 
character and temperament the situation in which he now 
found himself was impossible. During warfare, military 
discipline must of necessity be absolutely strict and impartial, 
applying to everyone, high and low ; but it must also be 
remembered that Rhodes had never before come under any 
discipline other than the rigid self-control he imposed upon 
himself. He was apt to be intolerant and overbearing with 
the military authorities, whose constantly issued orders and 
restrictions seemed to him both unnecessary and irritating. 
He, who had fought against, conquered, and ruled natives ; he, 
who had treated with the Dutch and so brought about peace 
years ago in Bechuanaland ; Rhodes, the man to whose 
brain Kimberley owed its great prosperity, the man who had 
succeeded in adding nearly a million square miles to the 
Empire, the builder of great railways and a telegraph line 
through a continent, not unnaturally felt that he at least 
should be consulted in regard to the measures of defence 
imposed upon the town. 

Unfortunately Colonel Kekewich, the Commandant, though 
a good soldier, could only reason from one narrow point of 
view. He considered Rhodes merely as a civilian and rather 
a troublesome one at that. Their relations grew more and 
more strained, and before the end of the siege they were no 



WAR 323 

longer on speaking terms. This was undoubtedly largely 
due to the lack of tact displayed by the chief intelligence 
officer, who, because Rhodes declined to take him at his 
own valuation, used his position to ' queer his pitch ' and 
belittle him at every opportunity, and succeeded in creating 
a most hostile atmosphere towards Rhodes among the 
military officials. Rhodes tried hard to pay no heed to 
the stupid vapourings of this individual, but when he 
found his liberties being more and more curtailed he 
became very angry and described the military as only fit 
for making red tape and no good for outmanoeuvring the 
Boer forces/ an opinion that cost him many army friends. 

In the circumstances, life in Kimberley at this time, with 
its necessary rules and regulations, became as intolerable to 
Rhodes as actual imprisonment, and the constant personal 
contacts and frictions irked his free spirit and tried his 
already weakened health. He chafed and fretted inces- 
santly over the lack of any news from the outside world, or 
of his immense interests, which was intensely trying to one 
who already knew that the working hours of his life were 
drawing to an end. Now and then, however, he managed 
by devious ways to get an odd letter carried through the 
Boer lines, and the following, received by his brother, Elm- 
hirst, at this time, rather clearly indicates his state of mind: 

MODDEB. RIVER. 

My messengers cannot get through. Kindly send me 
some news. A large portion of last official wire from Enslin 
was that a Boer gave a soldier a tin. I suppose with jam 
in it. Evidently a Boer mania is on. Really Methuen or 
someone should see that something better than such rot is 
flashed. Yours, C. J. RHODES. 1 

The lack of news, of conversation with his friends, or of 
fresh surroundings, drove his thoughts inward to feed en- 
tirely on themselves ; and in Kimberley there was neither 
the leisure nor the space nor the freedom necessary for a 
great mind to gain such nourishment, and so sustain itself. 

1 Le Sueur. 



324 RHODES : A LIFE 



The daily fret of petty and seemingly unnecessary duties, of 
listening to the grumblings of lesser minds, the constant 
enduring of small but extremely annoying discomforts, made 
Rhodes for the time being seem in some ways a smaller 
character than at any other period of his life. 

For some reason or other Rhodes had taken up a most 
adverse view as to the ability of General Bullcr for high 
command. ' He only thinks of his cook and the flesh-pots/ 
he said ; ' he ought to be pensioned.' Of Lord Roberts he 
held the highest opinion, and although he had some small 
altercations with him before and after the raising of the 
siege of Kimberley, they remained on quite friendly terms, 
and in 1904 when Lord Roberts visited Rhodesia he said to 
me that had he been able to get into direct communication 
with Rhodes these small differences would never have arisen. 
' It was a case,' he said, c of messages being passed on by 
someone lacking an understanding of Rhodes's peculiar 
position at the time, and I have often wished I could have 
explained to Mr. Rhodes much that I now regret, for I had 
not then heard of all he had done towards helping my pro- 
gress in many directions.' 

To such a state of intolerance did Rhodes come that ho 
went so far as to draft a letter in which he scathingly sug- 
gested that it might be thought it was the British Army 
and not Kimberley that wanted to be relieved, and he 
attempted to hasten the relief of Kimberley on his own 
responsibility. Colonel Kekewich, however, declined to 
forward this letter to Lord Roberts (although it was after- 
wards shown him), and in this he was well within his rights, 
since the civilian element of a besieged town has very little, 
if any, rights or voice of its own. Although it is certain 
that Rhodes was only actuated by a desire to bring to an 
end the terrible sights he daily saw, and to prevent further 
deaths among the children from privation for those which 
had already occurred had touched him deeply it was a 
mistaken action and one which he would not have taken 
had he been able to consider the whole position, as was. his 
usual habit, from every point of view. 



WAR 325 

The military also felt that Rhodes was an intense anxiety. 
The Boers would have given anything to capture him, and a 
rumour probably untrue was circulated that if captured he 
would be shot. However, it is a fact that the following tele- 
gram was picked up in General Gronje's laager at Paardeberg : 

c 19th October, 1899. 

' I trust my Free State brothers will not allow Rhodes to 
escape out of Kimberley. Your brothers on this side of the 
Vaal are standing firmly and watching. May God help us 
and the Free State to cast off the yoke of the English for 
good. For this purpose we offer, with God's help, property 
and blood.' * 

So great in fact was the vindictive hatred of the Transvaal 
Boers for Rhodes that it was said they would sooner have 
taken him prisoner than have annihilated the whole British 
Army. With this hope they had actually suggested building 
an iron cage in which to imprison hi and exhibit him 
publicly through the two Boer States a proposition that 
amused him greatly. 

The Dutch artillery outclassed and outdistanced the 
range of our guns at the sieges of both Ladysmith and 
Kimberley, and this knowledge made the public, both in 
England and South Africa, extremely anxious as to whether 
they could hold out. At last, when Kimberley had been 
heavily shelled for many weeks, one of De Beers' mining 
engineers, a Mr. Labram, after discussing various projects 
with Rhodes, volunteered to construct a gun more powerful 
than any possessed by the Kimberley artillery. He had no 
expert knowledge in any of the numerous processes involved, 
nor even the necessary tools. But he was one man of genius 
working under the inspiration of another. Rhodes en- 
couraged Labram to his utmost, and placed the De Beers' 
workshops at his disposal, with the result that on the 19th 
January, 1900, Kimberley was sending shells made in De 
Beers' workshops and inscribed C 0ompts. C.J.R.' into the 
Boer camps with excellent effect. This was a triumph of 



326 RHODES : A LIFE 

two very active brains ; but early in February the Boers 
moved up still stronger supports by way of retaliation, and 
threw a regular tornado of shot and shell into the town which 
showed such an indomitable spirit. 

Seeing the necessity for better shelter for the women and 
children, Ehodes now offered the shafts and galleries of the 
mines for their occupation, and the following notice was 
posted up in one or two prominent places in Kimbcrley : 



. I.RECOMWEND.WOMEN 
AW D.CHI LOREN. WHO. DESIRE 
OMPLETE. SHELTER.TO. PROCEED 

TOtKlMBERLEY.AND.DE-B.EEHS 

SHAFTS. THEY. WILLBE.LOWERED 
AT. ONCE.I/V.THE.MINES.FROM 
SO'CLOCK.THROUGHOUT. THE.NIGHT. 
LAMPS, a. GUIDES. WILL.BE 

- CJRHOOES 



WAR 327 

With, his own hands Rhodes helped to pass the children 
down to their underground homes and provided them with 
food, light and guides. Soon 2500 people were safely 
accommodated hundreds of feet below ground out of reach 
of the shells. 

Unfortunately, and to Rhodes's bitter regret, Labram was 
killed by one of the last shells to fall in the town. During 
the three previous days he had had several very narrow 
escapes and Rhodes feared greatly for his safety. When 
told of his death, Rhodes exclaimed, ' Well, what could a 
man do when God's been chasing him for three days ? ' 

Constant, but untrustworthy, rumours of the coming 
relief had on numerous occasions raised the hopes of 
those besieged, only to dash them lower than before when 
that relief, so long expected, did not come. But at last 
on 15th February, 1900, by a series of brilliant forced 
marches, General French relieved Kimberley. He was 
received with intense and almost delirious joy by the 
inhabitants of the town. A modest dinner party, given 
that evening in his honour by Rhodes, was cut short owing 
to French's anxiety to get in front of the Boer general, 
Cronje, a move which he managed to bring off and which 
resulted in the capture of that General and his little 
army. 

During the siege it was evident that Rhodes had thought 
much over the probable effect of the war upon his life-work, 
and something of this he explained when, a few days after 
the relief, he presided at the annual meeting of De Beers. 
His speech showed that he had come to realise that the war 
was far from being an unmixed evil, and had foreseen the 
possibility that, by solving many problems, it might lead in 
the end towards, rather than away from, the federation for 
which he had always hoped. 

Undeterred by the terrible time they had gone through, the 
Kimberley miners recommenced ' washing ' on 7th March, 
and a month later they began work in the levels which had 
proved so useful in sheltering their families. 

In spite of his differences with the military, Rhodes's 



328 RHODES : A LIFE 

great work during the war was fully recognised, and Lord 
Roberts, in a despatch dated the 20th March, wrote : ' I 
would add that the citizens of Kimberley seem to have 
rendered valuable assistance. By the active part wliich he 
took in raising the Kimberley Light Horse and in providing 
horses for all the mounted troops in Kimberley, Mr. Rhodes 
in particular contributed materially to the successful defence 
of the place.' Rhodes also received letters of thanks from 
the ministers of all the Free Churches, from the Malay 
community, and from many sources on behalf of the women 
and children. 

Unfortunately, a slight rift now occurred in the deep 
friendship between Rhodes and Kitchener. The latter, 
anxious to finish what had become merely a guerilla war 
with all possible speed, ordered all available trucks to be 
employed for military purposes only. But Rhodes, who felt 
that enough of his desperately valuable time had already 
been wasted over the war, believed that the railways could 
be more usefully employed in furthering the development of 
Rhodesia. A year or so earlier, when Kitchener was hurry- 
ing forward his desert railway for the Soudan campaign, 
Rhodes had sent him, some of the new engines intended for 
Mashonaland, so on this occasion he wired : ' Tell K. I lost 
a lot of time by giving up my engines for his Khartoum 
trip. I really think this time he should leave my rolling- 
stock alone.' 1 Even this appeal met with no response, and 
Rhodes made little attempt to hide the annoyance this 
embargo caused him. 

The delay in the realisation of his dreams and the conse- 
quent disappointment to Rhodes, who was already a very 
sick man, cannot be too forcibly emphasised. Although he 
worked as strenuously as ever for his ' hobby in the North,' 
and the prosperity of the diamond mines, he had received a 
blow from which he could not recover the war which he 
had never calculated on might, by devious ways, eventually 
bring about the union of South Africa, but he now knew 
that he would not be there to see it. He had begun to suffer 

1 Williams. 



WAR 329 

almost constant pain, and breathing was becoming increas- 
ingly difficult and sleep hard to find. Small wonder if he, 
who in his youth had never suffered fools patiently, became 
at times irritable and hasty with everyone around him. 

As soon as travelling was possible, Rhodes went south to 
his cottage at Muizenberg, where he hoped that the sea air, 
blowing in from the wide Atlantic, might help him to breathe 
again after the irksome confinement in the dry, dusty 
atmosphere of Kimberley. Although his health had suffered 
seriously through the privations and anxieties of the siege, 
he would not allow his work to be handicapped in any way 
by his physical disabilities, and the flame of his genius 
burned as strongly, though not as steadily, as ever. 

Addressing a meeting of the South African League at 
Cape Town, he spoke with all his old force and inspiration. 
It was a fine, sunny morning, and Rhodes appeared to some 
to be almost in a trance. He looked through the windows 
up to Table Mountain, and, gazing at its slopes, he remained 
silent for a time, forgetting apparently all about his audience. 
Suddenly he seemed to wake up, and speaking in the wide, 
far-seeing strain which was characteristic of all his grandest 
speeches, he told them they had defeated Krugerism, but 
not the Dutch, beside whom, he continued, ' you will have 
to live and work hereafter as in the past. When you go 
back to your homes in the towns or in the up-country 
farms and villages/ let there be no vaunting words, no 
vulgar triumphs over your Dutch neighbours ; make them 
feel that the bitterness is past and that the need of 
co-operation is greater than ever.' 

From this speech one can realise the very core of Rhodes's 
work and the goal from which, though often held back and 
delayed by his own impatience and by the short-sightedness 
and intolerance of others, he had never once allowed any 
difficulty, however great, to turn him ' The good of South 
Africa/ 



CHAPTER XXV 

*DE GROOTE SCHUUR' 

DURING 1896 Groote Schuur, Rhodes's residence near Capo 
Town, was burnt down. Rhodes happened to be in Rhodesia 
at the time, and when the news was broken to him, as of 
some great calamity, he took it very calmly and began at 
once to plan its reconstruction. It was unfortunate that 
much fine old furniture which could never be replaced, as 
well as many valuable papers, were destroyed in the con- 
flagration. This loss was South Africa's as much as 
Rhodes's, for he had shared his treasures generously with 
the people of the country, allowing them, as he did, to bo 
open for their inspection on every day of the week but 
Sunday. 

Although he owned many houses in South Africa at 
Kimberley, Bulawayo, Salisbury, and Umtali all of which 
he did his utmost to improve and beautify, e De Groote 
Schuur ' was the home which he created to commemorate 
his simple tastes and his love of nature, for all time. The 
others he referred to merely as ' rest houses.' 

Built on the site of what had once been a great barn where 
the Dutch East India Company's officials had stored their 
corn grown under very great difficulties as food for their 
requirements Groote Schuur looked back to those times 
when the Cape of Good Hope was regarded merely as c a 
useful place at which to grow vegetables for the supply of 
the Dutch East Indiamen,' and thus was full of the romance 
of other days. For this reason alone Rhodes rebuilt the 
house after the fire in 1896 on exactly the old site rather 
than move it to a position higher on the mountain slope 



GROOTE SCHUUR 331 

which Mr. (now Sir Herbert) Baker, the well-known 
architect, thought more suitable. 

The long low house with its roof of brown-red tiles, white 
plaster walls and massive teak doors, rests contentedly upon 
the lower slopes of Table Mountain, looking out over the 
Cape Flats and across the blue water of False Bay to where 
rise on a clear day the mysterious and sometimes snow-clad 
peaks of the Hottentots Holland mountain range. 

Rhodes wished to make a place which should please his 
friends and at the same time rest and satisfy himself. He 
spent a great sum of money on the reconstruction of the house, 
and when it was completed it proved to be an even better model 
of Dutch domestic architecture than the previous building. 

Herbert Baker, who planned the restoration of the house, 
was also responsible for the interior decoration, which was 
carried out on plain but rather massive lines in keeping with 
the old Dutch style. That rigid simplicity so dear to the 
heart of Rhodes was apparent in every room, as was also 
his intense love of wood and trees. A friend once compared 
Rhodes to a solitary pine-tree which stands by itself, upright 
and strong against every buffeting wind, not far from the 
house. 

Only the best of teak and mahogany was used for the 
heavy beams, the floors and the panelling of the interior of 
Groote Schuur, and so lavish was the use of teak that a 
whole shipload was sent from Burma for the purpose. 
Wonderful treasures, including some rare tapestry, a picture 
by Reynolds of a beautiful woman, and queer relics from 
Zimbabwe, were gathered in the lofty spacious rooms ; but 
oddly enough, in spite of his gigantic personality, Rhodes 
lent almost nothing of his own character to give atmosphere 
to the interior of his home, except the clear indication of his 
love for simplicity and open space. No room in Groote 
Schuur was crowded ; but the effect gained was more that 
of a beautiful museum than of a dwelling a house un- 
tenanted rather than a home. 

In buying the estate, Rhodes had definitely wanted to 
build himself a house in which to entertain. But if, as was 



332 RHODES : A LIFE 

often said, Groote Schuur was for his friends and tho grounds 
for the general public, the garden was all for himself, and of 
it he made a thing of almost animate beauty teeming with 
growth and colour. 

All the garden was planned on a big scale, which was 
necessary if it were to blend at all with the character of its 
owner and with the mountain background. There were 
cool woods filled with arum lilies, avenues of great trees 
some of which had been planted long ago by Governor van 
der Stel open spaces, and flowers in great masses of colour, 
making a vivid contrast to the rocky crags of Table Moun- 
tain towering beyond. 

The glory of the mountain side was ever a support and a 
comfort to Rhodes, even in deepest adversity ; tho boauty 
of nature as typified by the ever-changing grandeur of Table 
Mountain became for him, his church and his religion. 

c Why do I love my garden ? 9 he replied to a visitor ono 
day. ' Because I love to dream there. Why not como with 
me and dream also to-morrow morning ? ' * I went with 
hi next morning to his garden,' said the visitor (Mr. 
Mortimer Menpes), ' and we spent several hours thoro. They 
were happy hours to me and I hope to Rhodes also. There 
was no trace of the dominant, imperial Rhodes, but only of 
the sympathetic and human fellow-being. In his garden 
this great man of affairs seomed to tliink of nothing else. 
He caressed this plant and the other, drew my attention to 
the sky-blue hydrangeas against a background of pine-trees, 
and talked of opening out a vista here and another there ; 
of creating an avenue of camphor trees, another of pines, 
and a third of oaks. " But come now," he said, " lot us walk 
up the mountain and see the two oceans (the Atlantic and 
the Indian) you will never have a greater pleasure." And 
he was right. " What do you think of it ? " he asked. 
" Superb ! " I exclaimed. " It is unsurpassable," and tho 
picture was for ever engraven on my memory. It com- 
pelled silence and thought.' 

Rhodes walked much in his grounds, pondering his dreams 
in the quiet shade of the trees he loved so well. Further 



GROOTE SCHTJUR 333 

afield around the slopes of the mountain, he rode or walked 
with the few friends to whom at one time or another he 
intimately revealed himself. But in spite of the fact that 
at Groote Schuur he kept almost open house, Rhodes never 
sacrificed that solitude and loneliness which he had realised 
from earliest days was necessary for the inspiration of any 
useful life. 

Much as he loved his gardens, he made the grounds free 
to the public of Cape Town for their unreserved enjoyment, 
merely asking that, with him, they should be careful custo- 
dians of the trees and flowers. Only a very few ever abused 
this privilege ; but there were occasions when he had to 
send a servant to ask the people to move away from the 
back verandah because he wanted to read there ; and 
Jourdan tells how he once discovered a strange couple who 
had settled in the drawing-room and ordered tea ! 

When Rhodes was not actually in his rooms at Groote 
Schuur the public were allowed to see the house as well as 
the gardens, and he took particular care that his servants 
should be as courteous to such chance visitors as they were 
to his own guests. 

Paths and drives were made all through the beautiful 
grounds ; benches of teak were placed at intervals for people 
to take advantage of the widest views ; and fire breaks were 
cut through the bush. This latter proved to have been a 
very necessary precaution, for after the Raid, for which 
Rhodes was blamed by a large section of the public, as many 
as nineteen fires were lighted with the deliberate intention 
of destroying those pleasure grounds which he had made 
and to which the people had been given access. Things had 
got so bad in this connection that Rhodes decided to close 
the grounds to the general public and to make and give out 
a hundred keys to responsible citizens of Cape Town, who 
were authorised to issue them to visitors who were desirous 
of seeing the place. He hoped by this means to save the 
estate from being ruined, as it seemed it might soon be from 
the wanton damage that was being done to it so frequently. 
One Sunday morning soon after this arrangement had been 



334 RHODES : A LIFE 

in operation ho was riding round the grounds alone, and 
passing near one of the entrances he saw a man with three 
small children peering through the bars of one of the back 
gates. ' Why don't you como inside and walk through the 
place ? ' he asked. c We can't,' was the reply, ' the gates 
are now locked.' c Good heavens,' said Rhodes, c so they 
are, but I'll soon open them to you,' and he jumped off his 
horse and felt in his pockets for his key, but it had been left 
behind. ' Never mind,' he said, c don't you go away, I'll go 
and get it and come back at once and open the gate for you/ 
Riding off quickly he was back in twenty minutes and brought 
the man and his children inside. * And now,' he said to him, 
'I have learnt something from you and your family this 
morning. I have discovered how selfish I have been. This 
gate and all the others will be opened to-day and kept open 
for all time. It is not right that I should ruin the pleasure 
and enjoyment of hundreds of harmless people because one 
or so among them, destroys my property. I will ask you 
and the others to help me to keep this from happening, and 
I am sure the results will be far better than from any locking 
of the gates.' Time proved that he was entirely right. His 
trust was fully justified, for when the public heard the story, 
its members became the guardians of Groote Schuur. 

He also arranged a miniature and very perfect e zoo,' col- 
lecting the various South African antelope, which were 
turned into paddocks so that the children and their elders 
might learn something of the animals belonging to their own 
country. He then imported from Australia kangaroos, emus 
and wallabies, which throve in their new home. At one 
time he had a number of English song-birds sent out. 
Nightingales, chaffinches, thrushes, blackbirds, starlings, and 
rooks were liberated among the trees of Groote Schuur, but 
only the starlings proved themselves good colonists. 

On Sundays the grounds would be crowded with tho 
working folk and many others who came out from Cape 
Town to spend a day under the sky and absorb something 
of the tranquillity of that garden on the mountain side ; and 
Rhodes himself would often walk among them, deriving 




IN THE UJEtOUNDS AT UKOOTR SCHUCFJi 



To five pittfe 334- 



GROOTE SCHUUR 335 

pleasure in his turn from the joy he had helped to bring into 
the faces of those other workers. 

Groote Sehuur possessed such a distinctive atmosphere 
that many felt the thick old walls had become themselves 
possessed with the widely divergent thoughts and ideas of 
those who had gathered there from time to time. 

This home of Rhodes, the Prime Minister, became a world- 
wide salon where all passing visitors of name and fame (and 
very many of neither) were royally entertained. Writers 
and statesmen, explorers, hunters, engineers, farmers, and 
financiers, and a few a very few society folk, came up the 
great avenue of pine-trees, crossed the wide stoep, and, 
entering the heavy doorway over which is a bronze plaque 
depicting the landing of Van Riebeek, found themselves 
among the cool shadows of the great hall. 

It was essentially a house of conversation, since Rhodes 
had always possessed the power of drawing others to speak 
about their own ideas. Everyone who came into contact 
with the ' Builder of Dreams ' even the usually silent men 
realised that the mind of Rhodes was sufficiently broad to 
sympathise with every view of life, or tread in imagination 
any path to work or fame, for ' Without imagination no one 
can be a great leader,' he said more than once. Only the 
loafer, for whom he always had a supreme contempt, found 
no sympathy at Groote Schuur. Never were there grander 
talks than those beside the big log fire in the smoking-room, 
or around the great teak dining-table when the cloth was 
gone and only dishes of fruit and fine old glass remained, 
reflecting upon the polished wood the light thrown from 
massive silver candlesticks. 

Rhodes possessed three priceless old loving-cups which had 
been formerly used by the early Dutch Governors of the 
Cape, and these he always insisted should be placed upon 
the table for dessert. Though they ran a risk of being 
broken, he never believed in putting away what was beau- 
tiful and rare, preferring rather to have it in daily use and 
so draw from it benefit and pleasure. 

When the old glass was on the table and the servants 



336 RHODES : A LIFE 

gone, he would gradually expound his theories on various 
subjects until those other adventurous spirits seated round 
him were fired by the vastness of his dreams and driven to 
work for their ultimate realisation by what lay behind 
the great head and massive shoulders of the man lounging 
easily among them, with elbows on the table, head 
thrown back, and blue eyes shining with the light of in- 
spiration. 

Three kinds of friends came to visit Rhodes. There were 
his personal and parliamentary friends living in and around 
Cape Town, dropping in at odd hours, often to breakfast or 
in the late evening. In addition to those of whom I have 
already spoken, Sir Edgar Walton, editor of the Eastern 
Province Herald and Member for Port Elizabeth, was always 
a welcome visitor, and was once referred to by Rhodes as 
'the best of the bunch.' Others often at Groote Schuur 
included Dr. Jameson, Dr. (now Sir Thomas) Smartt, Judge 
Buchanan, Sir Edmund Stevenson, who was Rhodes's 
medical adviser, Sir Pieter Faure, Sir Charles Metcalfe, Sir 
Lewis Michell, Sir John Frost, Mr. W. P. Schreiner, Mr. 
Charles Rudd, Mr. J. H. Hofmeyr, Sir Alfred Milner, Sir 
Abe Bailey, of whom Rhodes said, e Bailey is a man after 
my own heart, he does tilings and wastes neither my timo 
nor his own,' Sir Lionel Phillips, the Archbishop of Cape 
Town, and many others. 

Mrs. van der Byl, from whom Rhodes had bought the 
property on which the house was built, was occasionally a 
guest at dinner ; and previous to the Jameson Raid, a 
Mrs. Koopman de Wet, an elderly Dutch lady, was frequently 
a visitor. ' It is well to be kind to old people and to listen 
to them, for one can learn much from them,' was a belief of 
Rhodes. He admired Mrs. Koopman de Wet greatly, and she 
was a confidante for many years ; but she was unable to 
forgive what she felt was duplicity on his part in regard to 
the Raid, and this was one of a number of friendships 
broken at that time and always regretted. 

There were also friends from England such as the Duke 
of Abercorn, Baron de Rothschild, Sir William Marriott, 



GROOTE SCHUTJR 337 

who taught him bridge in 1898, Alfred Beit, H. M. Stanley, 
Maguire, and others some personal, some upon business, all 
interesting men of affairs, who arrived by the mail boat, 
stayed a week or so and then generally went up country to 
see the expansion Ehodes was so busily engaged in. Each 
took away with him some new thought : one the impor- 
tance of nature to life ; another the clear and practical 
simplicity of their host's character. Everyone derived some 
definite benefit even from a short association with him ; no 
one could meet Rhodes and remain unmoved. 

Rudyard Kipling came at his invitation for several winters 
to the Cape and occupied a house called ' The Woolsack/ 
which Rhodes had specially built for him, close to the old 
windmill which used to grind the corn for the Dutch East 
India Company, in the grounds of Groote Schuur. Rhodes 
liked Kipling greatly. 'Kipling has done more,' he said, 

* than any other since Disraeli to show the world that the 
British race is sound at core and that rust or dry-rot are 
strangers to it.' 

' The Woolsack ' was designed by Mr. Herbert Baker, who 
had planned the restoration of Groote Schuur and whose 
genius would in time have revealed him to the world with- 
out any introduction from Rhodes, but it is only fair to the 
latter to say that he was the first to ' discover ' the famous 
architect. Rhodes liked Baker greatly and had a high 
appreciation of his work. 'Baker,' he said to us one day, 

* has big ideas ; he can visualise quickly, and his value to 
South Africa will continue to increase. He has sensed the 
spirit of van der Stel.' This architect also restored another 
ruined homestead on the estate with the sole idea that 
Rhodes's early Kimberley friends Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Currey 
and their daughters should pass their lifetime there. 
Although Mr. Currey had for many years been his business 
opponent, it was not in the nature of Rhodes ever to bear 
malice, and he once remarked that ' being vindictive is a 
waste of time, since you can employ yourself so much more 
usefully.' In discussing the plans for this house he said to 
Herbert Baker : c I cannot forget that in the early days of 

M.O.B. Y 



338 RHODES : A LIFE 

Kimberley, when I was friendless, Mrs. Currey always asked 
me to spend Christmas with them.' 

The third type of visitor was probably the most interesting 
of all. Rhodes's lieutenants came from the edges of the 
Empire to be rested and refreshed at Groote Schuur and to 
receive new instructions before starting out again upon their 
Imperial tasks. c Rhodes's Young Men ' were well known 
throughout the country. In early days he had collected a 
sort of bodyguard of young men in whose careers he was 
interested and who were chosen by him for various and 
sometimes unexpected qualifications. Among the number 
were Neville Pickering who died at an early date, to Rhodes's 
lasting regret Harry Currey, R. T. Coryndon, Jack Grimmer, 
Philip Jourdan, Gordon Le Sueur, Percy Ross, Harry Huntloy, 
Willie Fynn, C. van der Byl, and a few others. Most of 
these were at one time or another his confidential secretaries, 
and after Neville Pickering, Rhodes probably loved Grimmer 
who only survived him two months most of them all. 

Originally an official in De Beers, Grimmer, feeling the call 
of the North, resigned and went to Rhodesia, where he joined 
the mounted police for a short period. With Coryndon 
who became Sir Robert Coryndon and was Administrator of 
N. W. Rhodesia and later Governor of Kenya Grimmer 
was attached to Rhodes's bodyguard during the early part 
of the Rebellion in 1896, and later, for a time, had charge 
of his Inyanga farms. He used to chaff Rhodes a great 
deal, and it is probable that this attitude of his, which was a 
refreshing contrast to the sycophantic demeanour of some of 
those with whom Rhodes came in contact, was the secret 
that gained him so large a share of c the Old Man's ' favour 
and affection. 

Le Sueur left the Cape Civil Service in 1897 to become 
personal secretary to Rhodes and remained with him to the 
end ; but Jourdan, ' my devoted Jourdan,' as Rhodes often 
spoke of him, once a clerk in the House of Assembly whom 
Rhodes adjured to learn shorthand years before ho took him 
into his service, was perhaps the nearest approach to an 
actual secretary. He came up during the indaba in the 



GROOTE SCHTJUR 339 

Matopos and, till Rhodes's death in 1902, was never away 
from him unless he was ill. Both he and Le Sueur have 
written books of an interesting nature of their memories of 
their chief, Jourdan's being the more widely read of the two. 

Dr. Rutherfoord Harris was the official secretary for many 
years ; and he was followed by William Milton, afterwards 
Administrator of Rhodesia, in whom Rhodes had implicit 
confidence and to whom he delegated the widest of power. 

Whatever may be said (and there has been much) of 
Rhodes's choice of those whom he employed, it is doubtful 
if any other man has lived to inspire as he did such whole- 
hearted and unending loyalty and devotion in every one of 
his lieutenants. 

Ho possessed a knowledge of quality in men and gave 
them much of his confidence and a very free hand in affairs. 
This usually though not always repaid him, and as a 
result his interests were on the whole well attended to. But 
occasionally he asked more of those whom he employed than 
they were capable of, and in a few cases wherein he failed 
to carry through a scheme this was generally the reason. 
He was apt to be intolerant of the shortcomings of others, 
and upon one occasion he exclaimed, * Seventy-five per cent. 
if not more of the people one meets are fools or weather- 
cocks. And the first are preferable because you don't rely 
on them. 9 Rhodes hated unpunctuality, holding that so 
much of life was wasted by the unpunctuality of others, and 
said that as a rule you could trust the man who was prompt 
in keeping an appointment. 

He was most generous to his secretaries during his life and 
provided for certain of them afterwards. His impatient 
nature made him, however, a difficult man for whom to 
work, but whether Dutch or English, he was beloved by all 
of them. If an important letter or cable arrived, he liked 
to answer it at once even during a meal by telegram ; 
and a favourite phrase of his was * Let us make a telegram/ 
After any display of irritability he never failed to endeavour 
to make amends by a more sympathetic attitude, and this 
characteristic endeared him to those with whom he lived far 



340 RHODES : A LIFE 

more than a more even but less human temperament could 
have done. 

His independent spirit caused Rhodes to refuse all presents, 
for he disliked to feel under an obligation to anyone. 
Throughout his life he insisted both by precept and example 
that work was the greatest thing of all ; that work can live 
long after the human being who designed that work is gone ; 
and that actually all work is greater than life. c Every 
living man/ he said, ' should be a worker. No idlers, no 
mere dreamers should be tolerated.' 

He disliked anyone who complained of lack of * luck ' ; 
and in this regard he once administered a sharp rebuke to a 
young farmer who complained to him that he never had any. 
'You will only find luck by getting up early and very 
early/ said Rhodes. 

All his life Rhodes was an early riser. When at Grooto 
Schuur he always rode before breakfast if fine. At other 
times he would send for his secretary at daylight, and, 
pacing up and down the back stoep in his pyjamas, he would 
dictate letters. In later days, when unable to ride, ho often 
rose at earliest dawn, and sitting in his favourite old Dutch 
armchair, watched the mountain sides light up with the 
reflections of the sunrise. The mornings were usually spent 
in his own or the Government offices in Cape Town, whither 
he drove in the Cape-cart he always preferred oven to the 
car he owned in later years. Between lunch and live o'clock 
tea he was frequently to be found on the back verandah, 
facing Table Mountain, or he might occasionally retire to the 
solitude of his bedroom with a book. This room was fur- 
nished with the utmost simplicity ; on the walls hung a 
portrait of Bismarck and a photograph of the very old native 
woman who had helped in bringing about the first meeting 
in the Matopos between Rhodes and the rebellious chiefs. 
He was fond of showing visitors this room because of tho 
marvellous view of the mountain. So largo was its window 
and so near the mountain that one felt when looking out 
that one was already treading one of the paths upon the 
steep hillside. In the bathroom the walls and floor of green 



GROOTE SCHUUR 341 

and white marble gave an air of coolness allied to beauty, 
and the bath was hollowed out of one solid block of granite 
which had been brought from the Paarl for that purpose. 

Rhodes had spent much time and thought upon his library. 
The books he read were mostly the classics, for he always 
retained his early interest in the literature of Greece and 
Rome, and this interest probably contributed towards that 
* Roman-ness ' on which Oswald Spengler comments and of 
which I believe Rhodes was well aware, for he had on the 
shelves at Groote Schuur specially prepared lives of the 
Caesars and typewritten translations of the lives and works 
of all the authorities quoted by Gibbon in his Decline and 
Fall of the Roman Empire. It was said that Rhodes felt 
himself in sympathy with the Emperor Hadrian ; and his 
features certainly bore a curious resemblance to those of 
some of the Roman Emperors. 

He had a great appreciation of Greek art and much insight 
into its grandeur. * Through that/ he said, * Pericles taught 
the lazy and indolent Athenians to believe in Empire.' 

This was probably the basis of the bond between Rhodes and 
the artist Watts. Though the two were so utterly unlike in 
their life, deeds, and methods, there existed between them a 
wonderful kinship of the spirit, and of both it may be truly 
said ' their reach was beyond their grasp.' x The life-work of 
Watts the Statue of Physical Energy he dedicated to the 
memory of Rhodes, with the wish to perpetuate his friend's 
intense love of nature. 

His belief in and understanding of the healing quality of 
beauty in harmony with nature was proved by the manner 
in which he created Groote Schuur, and it was also shown 
by many small actions throughout his life. For instance, if 
during a conversation on the back stoep any guest sat with 
his back to the mountain, Rhodes would in all kindliness 
rise up and move the visitor's chair, pointing out what 
beauty he was missing by turning away from the glorious 
rocks and wooded ravines towards which that verandah 
faced. 

1 Sir Herbert Bakor in the Nineteenth Century 



342 RHODES : A LIFE 

When he died, as is well known, he left the fine estate of 
De Groote Schuur, over 1500 acres in extent, in trust for the 
public, the house and grounds to be used as a residence for 
the Prime Minister of that Federal Government he had 
striven all his life to bring about, and in the ultimate arrival 
of which he had that unfailing and fully justified belief which 
characterised all and every work of his creative genius. 
In leaving the property as a residence for the Prime Minister 
of the Federal Government he probably had the desire in 
his mind that Cape Town should remain the Capital of 
United South Africa. He was ever firm on its preponder- 
ating suitability for this. * Its position renders it increas- 
ingly important to the World,' he said one night in 1900 
to Ivan Muller, a well-known journalist, who had suggested 
a more central situation for such a capital, 'and its 
surroundings, with its majestic mountain watching guard 
over it, create an imagination in the minds of its people 
which is an advantage to them throughout life. Many of 
my own ideas have been born while walking under Table 
Mountain, which has given me help in good days and in 
bad days. The surroundings of Cape Town, if they remain 
unspoilt, will ever be an inspiration to those who live there. 
I tell you, Muller,' he went on, * you must have imagina- 
tion in your being if you would do good work in the world, 
and that you cannot get in uninteresting country.' 



CHAPTEE XXVI 

THE HOPELESS QUEST 
1900-1901 

WHEN Rhodes felt assured as to the safety of Kimberley, 
and had seen all the natives restarted at work in the mines 
there, he returned to Groote Schuur, but only for a few days. 
He found the place full of visitors, and as he was not too well 
he did not respond in his usual happy way to their presence, 
but he soon cheered up when he was able to get about his 
grounds and plantations again. His steward had attended 
to everything in his absence remarkably well, which pleased 
him very much, but many of his closest friends whom he 
liked moving about the place with were no longer able to 
visit him, being engaged in various forms of war work, and 
he felt the younger generation, mainly convalescent officers 
and their wives who were staying at Groote Schuur, were not 
so keenly interested in his plans and developments of the 
property as he expected them to be, and he was unable to 
settle down for a period of rest as he had hoped to do. 

The uneasiness of his body seemed now to possess his 
spirit also, and he decided to close the place partially and 
to keep moving, in the vain hope of regaining the bodily 
strength which he had lost, and felt he was not recovering. 
He had become terribly restless unable any longer to sleep 
save in a sitting position, or even to remain for long in one 
posture. But ill as he knew himself to be, and aware that 
his slender hold on life would be further shortened if he 
continued to work as he had done, he could not get away 
from that terrific force that burned within him and which, 
after all, had made him, the man he was. c I have only one 
thing to complain of,' he would say, 'that the Almighty 
won't give me ten more years to live. 5 

In April 1900 he went to England to transact certain 
urgent business and to consult doctors, but only remained 

343 



344 RHODES : A LIFE 

in London for two weeks. On his return to the Cape, Rhodes, 
in his desperate impatience to reach Rhodesia, finding 
that the land route to that country was still barred by war, 
chartered a steamer and journeyed around the coast to 
Beira. From there, with Grimmer and Jourdan, he went 
straight to Salisbury, where Sir Charles Metcalfo and I 
joined him. After a short trip with him and his party to 
the Lower Mazoe district, he asked me to go home in con- 
nection with various mining concerns he had promised to 
help, and I parted from him at the beginning of June and 
did not see him again till early in September. During that 
period he had travelled all through the eastern part of the 
territory Melsetter, Chipinga, and for some distance up the 
Sabi River. Coming back to the little town of Umtali he 
stayed there a week or so and then went up to his farms in 
the high lands of Inyanga, 120 miles off. He spent fully two 
months on this trip, every day of which he enjoyed im- 
mensely, and he shot better, he told me on my return, than 
he had ever done in his life. 

While on this long journey, news reached him from the 
Cape that the Schreiner Ministry had fallen on account of 
the veiled, but increasing, disloyalty of the Dutch party. 
The real cause of this quarrel was the introduction of an 
Act enforcing the punishment of Colonial rebels. The Bond 
party which at one time had been so loyal to Rhodes had 
fallen to such a depth that they had turned almost solidly 
against Schreiner in an effort to vindicate the rights of 
rebellion. Urgent appeals were now despatched to Rhodes 
by the Dutch as well as the British urging him to return to 
the Cape and draw together again, as only ho could, the 
disintegrated remains of the Cape Parliament. One staunch 
Dutch supporter wrote to him as follows : 

c MY DBAB CHIEF, I hear that we are to have the pleasure 
of seeing you before the session ends. In the first place, 
will you allow me to congratulate you heartily on the lino 
of action you have this year adopted ? You have done 
absolutely the right thing in having avoided the quarrelling 
on the Treason Bill, but I think you would be making a 



THE HOPELESS QUEST 345 

mistake if you did not put in an appearance before the 
session ends. 

' The animus against you on the part of the rank and file 
of the Afrikander party is wonderfully disappearing. Many 
more than you think no longer regard you with the old 
distrust, and I speak sincerely when I tell you that there are 
definite indications of a reaction in your favour. 

' South Africa is not the unknown factor it once was, and 
he who can reunite its white races so as to make them no 
longer a source of suspicion to one another, or of danger to 
the Empire, is not going soon to disappear from the ranks of 
fame. Utopian as it may now seem to talk of reunion, I am 
quite sure that you can do so within the next six months, and I 
am speaking with more information than I care now to explain. 

* Don't imagine that there are serious difficulties in the 
way. There is not the slightest .need of any humiliating 
sacrifice on your part, as either the great South African or 
as the still greater Imperialist. 

c Rightly or wrongly, our Afrikander friends have regarded 
you as the one who has disunited them, and I know they 
now look to you to reunite them. 

' I am now writing a little in parables and absolutely in 
confidence to give you some hints as to what I know is 
before you, and to ask you to pave the way for the great 
future you have practically at your feet.' l 

This letter clearly shows the tremendous confidence, apart 
from any difference of opinion on lesser points, felt for 
Rhodes as the one man who at this time possessed sufficient 
force of character to draw South Africa out of the net of 
rebellion, war, and bitterness in which she had become 
enmeshed. 

But Rhodes, realising he no longer possessed the strength 
necessary for parliamentary life, declined to move, and in 
reply merely telegraphed : c You can trust Milner/ A few 
days later, when asked by telegram to support a ministry 
in which Sir Gordon Sprigg was once more Premier and 
Mr. Rose-Innes Attorney-General, Rhodes rather un- 

* Michell. 



346 KHODES : A LIFE 

graciously wired : ' I have no objection and can swallow a 
mugwump if it will help the Governor/ l whereupon the 
easily amenable Sprigg was duly appointed. 

At the same time Jameson made liis first appearance as 
parliamentary candidate for Kimberloy, and in some manner 
explained his appearance there when spealdng to the 
electors. 'Two years ago, 5 he said, 'at the General 
Election, I was invited to become a candidate for a Colonial 
constituency with every prospect of being returned, but on 
my arrival at the Cape I found that by many not very 
sturdy but very prominent Progressives my comfortable 
theory of oblivion was not believed in. It was represented 
that my candidature and, still worse, my election might 
damage the cause and further embitter racial feeling. Of 
course, I stood aside. Again last year, at the elections 
brought about by the passing of the ^Redistribution Bill, the 
same result awaited me, after a six thousand mile journey. 
You see, I have been persistent, but fairly patient. Now I 
feel free to come forward in response to your requisition.' 

Jameson was duly elected, but when ho appeared in the 
House a dead silence prevailed. The Bond party glared 
fiercely at the man whom they represented as the cause of 
all their woes, while his own side were too cautious to risk 
even a single cheer. Throughout the whole session Jameson 
sat quietly hunched up on one of the back benches, while 
bitter jibes were thrown at him from time to time in the 
speeches of the opposing members. But he remained, and 
in later years was made Premier of Cape Colony by sorno of 
those who jibed on the occasion of his first appearance. Ho 
wrote, however, to a friend that ho was thoroughly * fed up ' 
with parliamentary life, and was rather sorry ho had over 
gone into the House, but that he meant, like Disraeli, to 
make himself listened to before ho left it. His purgatory 
came to an end even more swiftly than ho had foreseen ; 
for in October Parliament was prorogued for nearly a year, 
while the whole of South Africa became involved in racial 
hatred and in a prolonged guerilla warfare which for a time 

1 MicheU. 



THE HOPELESS QUEST 347 

made it advisable to replace parliamentary government by 
martial law. 

Kruger had now fled from Pretoria, leaving Mrs. Kruger 
in the care of Lord Roberts ; but the old lady gradually 
failed, and died soon afterwards while Kruger himself was at 
Utrecht engaged in writing an account of his own career. 
It is difficult to understand this retirement of Rhodes's 
obstinate old opponent from the South African arena before 
the end of the struggle. No doubt he saw the depth of the 
pit towards which his arrogance had led him, for his calcu- 
lations as to gaining support on the Continent had faded 
away in the early days of the conflict, and Leyds, his State 
Secretary, had written him that neither he nor the three 
other emissaries who had gone to Europe with him had been 
able to obtain any support whatsoever from foreign govern- 
ments, while Germany, which had been specially relied upon, 
announced that c it was in no way concerned in the conflict/ 
France also replied that she saw no case for intervention. 
America, however, said she would be glad c in a friendly 
way ' to try to bring the war to an end, but her Ambassador 
was informed that the British Government did not propose 
to consider any intervention in the matter. 

Rhodes had just reached Bulawayo when I returned from 
England early in September, and, for the only time in his 
life, I found hi writing a preface to a book, in the doing 
of which he was extremely happy, for the author was a 
young undergraduate who had walked over the route which 
Rhodes himself had dreamed that his iron road and his 
telegraph those pioneers of civilisation would one day 
follow. Ewart Grogan's book contains the following 
characteristic preface, which Rhodes, in his keenness, 
insisted on reading to me before I had even changed my 
dusty clothes : 

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, 
BULAWAYO, 7th September, 1900. 

MY DEAR GROGAN, You ask me to write you a short 
introduction for your book, but I am sorry to say that 



348 RHODES : A 



literary composition is wot one of my gifts, my correspon- 
dence and replies being conducted by telegrams. 

I must say I envy you, for you have done that which 
has been for centuries the ambition of every explorer, 
namely, to walk through Africa from south to north. The 
amusement of the whole thing is that a youth from Cam- 
bridge, during his vacation, should have succeeded in doing 
that which the ponderous explorers of the world have failed 
to accomplish. There is a distinct humour in the whole 
thing. It makes me the more certain that wo shall complete 
the telegraph and railway, for surely I am not going to be 
beaten by the legs of a Cambridge undergraduate. 

Your success the more confirms one's belief. Tho 
schemes described by Sir William Harcourt as ' wild cat ' 
you have proved are capable of being completed, even in 
that excellent gentleman's lifetime. 

As to the commercial aspect, everyone supposes that the 
railway is being built with the only object that a human 
being may be able to got in at Cairo and got out at (Upo 
Town. 

This is, of course, ridiculous. The object is to cut Africa 
through the centre, and the railway will pick up trade all 
along the route. The junctions to the cast and west 
coasts, which will occur in the future, will be outlets for the 
traffic obtained along the route of the line as it PUHHCH through 
the centre of Africa. At any rate, up to Bulawayo, where 
I am now, it has been a payable undertaking, and 1 still 
think it will continue to be so as we advance into the far 
interior. We propose now to go on and cross the Zambesi 
just below the Victoria Falls. I should like to have the 
spray of the water over the carriages. 

I can but finish by again congratulating you, and by 
saying that your success has given me groat encouragement 
in the work that I have still to accomplish. Yours, 

C. J. RHODES. 

For a short time Jameson, who had got over his enteric 
attack and was now quite fit, joined Rhodes in the North, 



THE HOPELESS QUEST 349 

and the mining district of Gwanda, a hundred miles south 
of Bulawayo, was visited by the party and a large number 
of mines looked up. In these journeys Rhodes was riding 
about forty miles daily and walking most days, in the course 
of shooting, another seven to eight. He was sleeping rather 
better, but his heart was becoming more and more enlarged 
and began to press on his lungs, which affected his breath- 
ing. Yet he declined to take things quietly. c So long as I 
can keep going,' he said, * let me continue my work.' This 
period on the veld was the longest he had ever had there, 
and he said more than onco, ' How happy must the nomads 
of the desert be ; I can now well understand their dislike of 
our cramped civilisation.' In these four or five months 
Rhodes busied himself with the development of the gold- 
mining industry, farming, the extension of the railway, and 
the pushing on of his telegraph line to Cairo. He was 
supposed to be resting that was one of the chief points 
urged on him by the heart specialist he had consulted in 
London but in reality he was working with intense energy. 
Day after day as he rode quietly through the bush his 
imagination was taking him as far afield as ever. His 
greatest quality, as Rudyard Kipling once said to me, 
was his imagination. It was undoubtedly that quality 
which provided the boundless energy he showed in the 
pursuit of the vast schemes he formulated and carried through 
for the development of South Africa. His far-seeing mind 
seemed to gaze down ever-lengthening vistas. Nothing was 
too remote for his consideration if it contained a germ which 
when fully developed would help in the progress of 
mankind. 

He reached Groote Schuur in October and at once set to 
work elaborating many of the schemes that had emanated 
from his brain while ' on trek ' in the veld, and among them 
was one of testing at once the value or otherwise of those 
scholarships for which he had made provision in his Will. 
With this in mind he determined to found an experimental 
scholarship at Oxford worth 250 a year, which should 
come into operation at the Diocesan College, Rondebosch. 



350 RHODES : A LIFE 

In writing on this subject to tho Archbishop of Capo Town, 
who was also Chairman of the College Council, Rhodes said : 
' I do not know whether your governing body will accept 
this rather complicated scholarship, but it is an effort to 
change the dull monotony. of modern competition. There 
must have been some pleasure in viewing contests in tho 
Gymnasium at Athens. I am sure there is none in a modern 
competitive examination. But the more practical point is, 
do we, under our system, get the best man for the world's 
fight ? ' l This letter shows how keen was Rhodes to im- 
prove in every way the young men of the future. 

He selected a design for the memorial he proposed to erect 
in the Matopos to Allan Wilson and those who fell with him 
in that last stand against tho Matabelo on tho Shangani 
River, and the work of completing it he put in the hands of 
that able sculptor, Mr. John Tweed. He also arranged that 
an outstanding monument should be built in Rimborloy to 
the memory of those who fell in its defence, and many 
hundreds of South Africans and visitors from overseas visit 
these noble memorials every year. 

He interested himself in tho building of the now Capo 
Town Cathedral, and proving the varied nature of his 
activities in the creation of a great cold storage depot, with 
which ho hoped to secure cheaper meat for tho people, who 
always suffered heavily from high prices in times of drought. 
He helped also in finding work and accommodation for 
refugees from the fighting areas. He founded, near Cape 
Town, a home for British women immigrants who, upon 
arrival in South Africa, could be sure of a temporary shelter, 
and this institution still exists, the late Princess Christian 
having been long President. 

At Kimberley he worked hard with his co-diroctors in 
De Beers assisting that Company to recover from the losses 
it had incurred through the war. At the same time ho 
arranged that his Company should make a grant to the local 
municipality of 8000 a year, for three years, in order to 
help to repair the damage done during the siege. 

iMicheU. 




RHODES IN 1900 
At Mr. H. E. V. Pickstone's farm, Cape Province. 



THE HOPELESS QUEST 351 

He was very delighted to get a communication in the last 
days of the year from one of his ' lambs,' Coryndon, who had 
been sent up to Barotseland to get Lewanika, the king of 
that country, to confirm certain concessions granted a 
number of years previously to Rhodes's agent, Lochner. 
This, Coryndon, who had been one of the pioneers of 
Mashonaland from Kimberley, had been successful in doing. 
' I told you, Metcalfe,' said Rhodes, * that Coryndon would 
do it. Send him a wire, Jourdan, saying I backed him from 
the day he left and now congratulate him on his appointment 
as Administrator for the Chartered Company of that territory. 
That will please him, but he deserves it, he deserves it.' 

At this time Rhodes worked so hard over his interests, 
which were never so numerous and so varied, that it would 
almost seem as though he had begun to strive with a definite 
idea of ending such part of his work as could be finished 
while he lived, leaving no unravelled threads in the web of 
his life. He would always insist on looking at both sides of 
a question before he decided on his course of action. Having 
once fixed that, there was no deflecting him from his purpose ; 
there were neither deviations nor hesitations. 

In May 1901 Rhodes and Jameson went together to the 
North, where Rhodes was able again for a while to enjoy the 
free life that he loved. * Let us get away from the telegraph 
office,' he would say. He particularly enjoyed staying at 
the huts he had built on his farm in the Matopo hills. 
These huts were furnished as simply as possible with a 
couple of stretchers in each, for on the veld Rhodes never 
wanted the luxuries of civilisation, but only to live close to 
nature and breathe the free wide air. 

Below and away to the front of the huts stretched a 
wonderful view of gigantic and weirdly shaped granite 
kopjes, which, with the queerly-growing candelabra 
euphorbias between, have been compared to a futurist land- 
scape, while lying between the huts and the hills lay the 
great valley which he intended his Matopo dam to irrigate. 

At this time his thoughts seemed to dwell very often on 
his wish to be buried in the Matopo hills, and in conversa- 



352 EHODES : A LIFE 

tion with his friends he insisted that this was his desire. 
' Lay me there,' he would say, e my Rhodesians would like 
it. They have never bitten mo.' 

It is certain that the one thing, in a life containing 
an abundance of uphill work and many disappointments, 
which Rhodes cherished throughout the later years as 
his solitary achievement was the definite launching of 
Rhodesia the country he had made upon her way to 
greatness. At this time, in speaking to a gathering at the 
laying of the foundation stone of the Drill Hall in Bulawayo, 
in June 1901, he reiterated his idea that the rule of the 
Chartered Company in Rhodesia should bo only temporary. 
' We are preparing the way for you,' ho said, ' until you are 
ready for self-government. In time to como this groat 
dominant North and I call it a dominant North with the 
Transvaal, will dictate the Federation. . . . The whole 
situation lies with the Northern States and nothing can 
alter it,' he repeated. As some sort of explanation he added : 
* I would put it to you that, after all, oven now at the Maddest 
time, when you are worried if I might put it so with a 
scarcity of capital, worried with the many difficulties of a 
new country, would you prefer to be hero or on the old spot 
that you came from hero, sharing in the interests of a 
creation ? This is surely a happier tiling than tlio deadly 
monotony of an English country town or the still more 
deadly mediocrity of a Karoo village. Hero, at any rate, 
you have your share in the creation of a now country . . . 
and you have the proud satisfaction of knowing that you arc 
civilising a new part of the world.' 

Later in the month he presented the prizes at St. John's 
School, Bulawayo, and there made a delightful speech, 
containing his thoughts on education and religion. c I hoar,' 
he said, * there are over a hundred children in tho school : 
six years ago there were only little barbarians in this locality. 
Education is the whole difference between barbarism and 
civilisation. This is perhaps tho only country in tho world 
where an attempt is being made to solve the religious diffi- 
culty in education, by allowing tho children to bo taught 



THE HOPELESS QUEST 353 

their different religions in the same school. If you children 
were at a Board School in England you might hear a chapter 
of the Bible read, but if you asked the teacher, ' What does 
that mean ? ' he would not be allowed to answer you. He 
can read the Bible to you, but must not answer questions. 
It is most ridiculous for one of the most advanced countries 
in the world. But we have a system, that for half an hour 
in the morning the clergy of each church can teach their 
special dogmas to the children of the members of their 
congregations, but the boy whose father does not want him 
to have any religious teaching does not get playground he 
gets geography. We have, I believe, hit on a solution which 
is going to work. In England a Board School can have no 
religion. I think this is a mistake, just as I think it is a 
mistake in Australia, that they have excluded religion from 
the schools. It is an absolute mistake, because a child at 
school is at that period of its life when it is most pliable to 
thought, and if you remove from it all thought of religion, 
I don't think you make it a better human being. I am quite 
sure that a child brought up religiously is a better human 
being. I am quite sure that to couple the ordinary school 
teaching with some religious instruction is better than to 
dismiss religion from within the walls of the school. Their 
school years are the years in which to tell the children that 
there is one thing in life better than material instruction, 
and that is religious belief.' 

These remarks clearly prove that Rhodes placed no re- 
liance in a Godless education for the rising generation. 

This speech was his last public utterance in Rhodesia, 
save for a short speech at a small, informal meeting held in 
the hall of the Library Building in Bulawayo which was not 
reported by the Press. 

' . . . If we would progress in this world/ he said, ' we 
must all work together I mean the North with the South. 
In regard to railways there should be only one system of 
administration all over South Africa, providing a uniform 
tariff. Then you must face this terrific native question. 
There are different systems in every one of the South African 

M.O.B. 2 



354 RHODES : A LIFE 

colonies ; so the native cannot be blamed for saying he 
does not know what the white man wants. This matter 
must be tackled. I urge you to give it your consideration, 
for it is a trouble which, if not put to right, will lead to 
revolt. I repeat to you, and I have said it elsewhere, if 
you wish for progress and success you can only have it by 
unanimity in regard to all the various questions of adminis- 
tration many of them of a complicated nature which are 
to be found south of the Zambesi. . . . We are passing 
through a period of grave trouble ; the country south of 
you is in the throes of a great struggle. I am very hopeful, 
however, that the result will be the killing of racial dis- 
tinction. You must not forget that the two races the 
Dutch and the English come of virile stock and both 
possess strong individuality, but I tell you South Africa 
will never be true to herself until she has achieved complete 
union and buried all racial bitterness. If you would dis- 
cover the truths which are essential to your well-being you 
must think simply. Truth is ever simple and needs no 
bush, so do not fear to face it. You here are a young country 
and can give a fine lead, for you have no past to live down, 
so seek no false theories to support you, for you do not need 
to lean on such straws. I would wish to say more, but will 
conclude by asking you to remember the best traditions 
of the race you spring from. If you hold fast to those 
you cannot go far wrong, for they will never lead you 
astray.' 

The happy sojourn in Rhodesia was interrupted one morn- 
ing, when we were planning out lucerne fields on his Matopo 
farm, by the receipt of a telegram from Sir Lewis Michell 
asking Rhodes whether he had signed any blank promissory 
notes, and upon his replying with a decided negative he 
received the news that Princess Radziwill was trying to 
negotiate in Cape Town a note for 2000. Rhodes was very 
much annoyed, and requested Sir Lewis to repudiate 
the document at once, and for the time being this un- 
pleasant incident was not dragged into the limelight. When 
Rhodes returned to Cape Town he was on his way to England 



THE HOPELESS QUEST 355 

and he wished neither to postpone his visit home nor publicly 
to prosecute the Princess for forgery. 

Some months before sailing for England in June 1901 he 
had rented for the autumn the grouse moor and deer forest 
of Rannoch in Perthshire from Sir Robert Menzies. He 
went there after a short stay in London, where he was 
examined by a heart specialist who warned him that unless 
he gave up all work at once he could not hope for many 
further months of life, but if he took a long voyage it was 
just possible that this might check the progress of the disease 
and extend his life for a year or two. Rhodes, however, 
found it very difficult to slacken off in his work, and most 
days whilst in London he was to be found in the offices of 
the Chartered Company and De Beers. Every morning he 
was to be seen riding in Hyde Park, and he continued to be 
very cheerful, but lack of sleep caused him to become 
irritable over small things and his impatience became more 
and more marked, save to Alfred Beit, to whom his kindly 
ways never varied. Early in August he went up to Rannoch 
accompanied by Dr. Jameson, Metcalfe, Jourdan, and 
Mr. and Mrs. Maguire, and many other guests followed 
during the next few weeks. Among these were Earl Grey, 
Winston Churchill, George Wyndham, Abe Bailey, Robert 
Williams, and Alfred Beit. Churchill's ability he thought 
highly of. ' He is a young man,' he said, c who will go far 
if he doesn't overbalance ! ' While at Rannoch he had a 
long cable message from the Prince and Princess of Wales 
(the present King and Queen), who had spent some time at 
Groote Schuur, saying how much they appreciated his place 
and all that had been done for them there, and this incident 
gave him a good deal of pleasure. During the two months 
spent at Rannoch his health seemed to improve and he was 
very pleased with the sport obtained on both the moor and 
the river, and Jameson did his utmost no easy matter to 
prevent him from overdoing things. He was, however, 
never out of pain altogether, but would allow no one to 
express sympathy with him ; he never complained, and he 
avoided with determination any reference to his health, 



356 EHODBS : A LIFE 

although it was now clear to all his friends that he realised 
the end could not ho very far distant. One night at dinner 
Rhodes for the moment forgetting his own case had ex- 
pressed his horror of loathsome and prolonged diseases, but, 
having done so, he remembered his own heart, and turning 
to Jameson said eagerly, 'At any rate, Jameson, death 
from the heart is clean and quick. There is nothing re- 
pulsive or lingering about it. It is a clean death, isn't it ? * l 
Jameson, attempting with immense courage to reply casually 
to this question which, alas, could not be answered as Rhodes 
wished, was not strong enough to prevent his voice from 
betraying him. By a wonderful effort of will, however, 
Rhodes pulled himself together, talked of other things, and 
appeared not to have noticed Jameson's misery. 

In October Rhodes, still in company with Jameson, 
Metcalfe, Alfred Beit, and Jourdan, came South, but 
only stayed a short while in London, which they left after a 
few days in order to visit Paris, Venice, and Lucerne, where 
Rhodes applied himself diligently to visiting art galleries 
and collecting a few pieces of old furniture that appealed to 
him. He was then advised that the baths at Salso Maggioro 
would do him good and they went there for a few weeks, 
but Rhodes disliked the sight of so many invalids, and the 
party was quickly on the move again and motored south 
through Italy. 

It now occurred to Rhodes's restless spirit that he would 
go to Cairo and from there up the Nile and see the northern 
end of his railway line, which was then being pushed rapidly 
southward. With this intention he hired a dahabeah on the 
Nile, and he was for a time intensely happy and interested, 
studying both the ancient history and the modern develop- 
ment of Egypt. The party had the good fortune to be 
accompanied by Mr. Percy Machell, the Egyptian Minister 
of Interior, whose knowledge of all that was going on in 
Egypt was of great value. The Nile attracted Rhodes 
greatly, as did the irrigation works and especially the 
Assouan Dam. Such a work, dreamed of and created on an 

1 Jburdan. 



THE HOPELESS QUEST 357 

immense scale, was something that instantly appealed to his 
great mind and impressed him enormously. With the idea 
that cotton would one day be of some use to his settlers in 
Rhodesia, he studied every detail of cotton growing ; he 
discovered a drought-resisting maize, which is now a well- 
established variety in Mashonaland ; and he bought Egyptian 
donkeys with which, on his own farms, he improved the 
South African breed. But unfortunately the hot season in 
Egypt was not considered good for his heart, and, on the 
advice of Jameson, Rhodes reluctantly returned to London 
sooner than he had intended. 

Before he left he sent me the following letter, which, as it 
was written in his old, vigorous style, heartened me greatly, 
as I thought he must have improved much in health : 

DAHABEAH c OONAS/ 

5th December, 1901. 
MY DEAR MCDONALD, 

I gather that roughly a million gallons of water 
does three acres of irrigation if properly handled. If you 
have luck this season you should get a good supply in the 
dam from the summer rains, in which case you could do 
several hundred acres of dry season crop. I write now to 
urge you to get Ross to plough the ground. I hope to be 
with you in April. He must push the work along, for I do 
not want to lose a year. Let us prepare for potatoes and 
lucerne. Oats are too risky on account of locusts. . . . We 
must get one or more men with energy to carry out the work. 
Consider a workable scheme before I arrive, and you can 
make tentative proposals to Hull and to Halse if you think 
they would care to undertake the work. Now remember 
the need for an immediate beginning. Give contracts to 
anyone you like I suggest Fielders but it is left to you, 
only get the land ploughed. The best seed is to be got from 
Christian of Port Elizabeth. A press for baling the crop 
can be obtained from same firm. Put the bales up like 
those from the Argentine. The whole point is to have green 
fields of lucerne, potatoes, and any other crops you like all 



358 RHODES : A LIFE 

going well under irrigation in September next. I write thus 
early so that you should get on with the work. Let Laid- 
man know I mean to go on with the extension of the dam in 
the winter. Ploughing, stumping, and harrowing ought to 
be done well under the figure Boss named. It is an enormous 
charge. Do your best, for you and I will become the 
laughing-stock of the country if, after spending thirty- 
thousand pounds to get the water, we have not the brains 
to find the men to cultivate the land and make it a success. 
Let us set to work. I give you a free hand, so get good men. 
You must not have yourself and myself disgraced over this 
business. Have we the capacity to reach success or not ? 
We must try. I rely on you. To sum up : (1) Get the land 
ploughed. (2) Plant lucerne, potatoes, and other crops. 
(3) Dam to be extended. (4) Get lucerne press for baling 
purposes. (5) Have the work all running well before I 
arrive in April. (6) Get good men. (7) You have a free 

hand. 

Yours, 

C. J. RHODES. 

P.S. I think on the whole Hull would be the best man 
for us to put in as manager. 

He had now begun to think of making a yachting trip to 
Japan, and so becoming independent of the ordinary mail 
steamers with their regular ports of call ; and with his world- 
wide interest in the English-speaking races ho also thought of 
going on to America. This journey would, I am sure, have 
been undertaken had not circumstances arisen which most 
unfortunately made it impossible. 

While in London, Rhodes bought the estate of Dalham in 
Suffolk, for he felt the bracing air there might make easier 
breathing more possible for him. He went fully into farming 
matters with a very capable agent and gave him rather 
unusual ideas as to how he wished the crops to be harvested, 
and he also arranged for alterations to be made in the 
surroundings of the house, and for an old oak avenue that 
had fallen into bad neglect to be put into good condition. 



THE HOPELESS QUEST 359 

He visited the studio and workrooms of Mr. John Tweed, 
in Chelsea, and was able to see the finished bronze panels 
for the great monument to Allan Wilson and the other 
heroes of the Shangani fight, which he was erecting in the 
Matopos, and was much pleased with Tweed's work, which 
had been carried out faithfully on the lines of the ideas he 
had given him. 

Further news of the Princess Badziwill case now arrived 
and caused him anxiety. In connection with the forgery of 
his signature on certain promissory notes her prosecution 
had been decided upon and Ehodes's presence was now 
definitely required at the Cape, for the forgeries had been 
more numerous than was at first suspected. In addition he 
wastroubled by the false statements that were being circulated 
in regard to his relations with her, which, however, he knew 
he would have no difficulty in disproving, and he felt it was 
imperative, in order to safeguard his good name, to return 
to South Africa at whatever personal inconvenience. If he 
did not refute such slanders as malicious lies, his enemies 
would be in a position to say they were the truth. True 
to his life policy of always * facing the music ' in an awkward 
situation, even though his strength was almost exhausted 
and his life was nearing the end, Rhodes, in direct defiance 
of the earnest remonstrances of the heart specialist and of 
Dr. Jameson, abandoned his proposed yachting trip, left 
behind the new home he had so recently acquired but had 
never yet lived in, and sailed for the Cape on the 18th 
January, 1902, to defend his personal honour, for the sake 
of his life-work. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

THE END OF THE ADVENTURE 
1902 

ALTHOUGH Rhodes had planned to return to England 
immediately after the trial of Princess Radziwill, the fates 
had decreed otherwise. The heat on the voyage out had 
tried him very much, and he contracted a severe cold which 
further weakened his constitution and reacted on his heart. 
On reaching Cape Town he was still very ill, and the 
change in his appearance both alarmed and shocked his 
friends. 

Immediately on his arrival he went straight to the cottage 
by the sea, where it was hoped his health would improve. 
Rhodes had so much belief in the good air at Muizonborg, 
where the great Atlantic rollers break in surf upon tho white 
sand and a cool breeze comes off the water, that ho intended 
building a larger house there on a beautiful site, which ho 
had lately acquired between the sea and tho mountain, which 
should replace the rather inadequate cottage. With tho help 
of Herbert Baker ' he had planned a house that should stand 
on a high terraced wall, so designed that from tho verandah 
the public road would be altogether hidden and only tho 
whole wide sweep of the sea and the breakers bounded by tho 
far-off promontories protecting the bay should be soon/ At 
this time the terrace wall was actually made, but Rhodes 
had delayed commencing tho building of the house. In this 
last year of his life he spent less money than usual, saving 
in every way possible so that he might be able to loave more 
funds to go towards his Oxford scholarships and to further 
his Rhodesian projects. 

300 



THE END OF THE ADVENTURE 361 

In this year of suffering, Rhodes's unselfishness at a time 
when many similarly placed would have thought only of 
their own comfort and the alleviation of their own pain, was 
a thing at which to marvel. He remained secure in his 
reasonable philosophy of submission to Fate. ' I will never 
ask more of Fate/ he declared, ' than what she considers my 
life entitles me to earn.' This was the creed by which he 
lived, and now at the last his thoughts were all for others 
and for the good of humanity. 

His intense interest in public affairs never left him. In 
that February he met a representative of Lord Kitchener in 
order to discuss with him an intricate question of Colonial 
accounts, and Michell states that, although so ill, Rhodes 
had never shown more clearly his financial genius and hard 
common sense than in dealing with this particular matter 
which presented many difficulties. 

In connection with his preliminary scholarship and, as if 
full of the springtime of enthusiasm, he wrote the following 
letter to the Archbishop of Cape Town : 

MTTTZENBERG, 

February 1902. 
MY DEAR ARCHBISHOP, 

I was glad to hear that the test for the scholarship 
passed off well, and up to the present there are no amend- 
ments suggested, but we must watch carefully and improve 
as we gain experience. I have been looking into the question 
and have an amendment to make. I find 250 per annum 
is sufficient for Oxford, but then the young fellow spends 
six months with his people. Our young South African will 
be without a home to run to and will have to pay for himself 
for twelve months as against the ordinary undergraduate 
who lives on his people for six months. I think therefore 
one must increase the scholarship to 300 per annum. I 
send you a cheque for 1800, which will provide for the next 
six years, by which time it is probable that the provisions of 
my will may have come into force, under which a con- 
tinuance of our attempt is provided for. 



364= RHODES : A LIFE 

a determination to be ready, had put most of his affairs in 
order. 'All right then, send for Michell,' was his only 
comment ; and when Sir Lewis arrived Rhodes added some 
final instructions in regard to his will, and appointed Jameson 
an executor. 

All this time inquiries as to his health came from all over 
the world, and there were innumerable callers at that 
insignificant cottage on the seashore, where the greatest 
man of the Empire lay fighting for breath and longing for 
the cool breezes which did not come. All through Cape 
Town and throughout the suburbs the weather and its effect 
on Rhodes's health was the one topic of conversation with 
working people and leisured folk alike. The ono predomi- 
nating thought throughout the Cape Peninsula was for his 
comfort. ' Would the.night be cool so that "he " could sleep? 
was the single thought of every citizen, and old political con- 
troversies were merged in the supreme anxiety that Rhodes 
might be spared to remain among them. At Muizonborg, 
even through the long nights, silent crowds of all nationalities 
Dutch, English, and natives for the time being drawn 
together by the one overwhelming sorrow, gathered in the 
road outside the cottage, waiting in desperate suspense hour 
after hour for some news of the man whom they know South 
Africa never could replace.' l 

Within the cottage Dr. Smartt, Sir Charles Motcalfo, Sir 
Edgar Walton, Elmhirst Rhodes, Jourdan, and Lo Suour, 
under Jameson's direction, watched over and tended * their 
chief ' night and day. Grimmer, too, came from the North 
to spend the last days with his beloved chief. 

Throughout the whole of Rhodes's last illness Jameson's 
endurance was a thing at which to marvel. He seemed to 
need neither food nor sleep, and scarcely left his friend's 
bedside. He watched over Rhodes with intense devotion 
and tenderness ; the only rest ho took was when ho laid 
himself down for a few hours on a camp bod placed across 
the doorway. Even now, in the last days, Rhodos's thought 
for others did not diminish. He would often call out to one 

1 Colviu. 



THE END OP THE ADVENTURE 365 

or other of the friends in the evening and want to know why 
they did not play bridge, ' instead of sitting about doing 
nothing.' To Grimmer and me he said one morning : ' You 
think " the old man " is done for, but don't be too sure ; he 
has still got some life in him.' 

To the very last there were flashes of the old will, and if 
he found anything had been withheld from him it annoyed 
him very much. * Why should I not be told ? ' he said on 
one occasion when some rather depressing news came to 
hand ; ' I am still sound in mind.' 

With that longing for their homeland which is so natural 
with all living creatures when nearing their end, Rhodes now 
wanted intensely to go to England, and upon Jameson 
devolved the dread duty of telling him that should he sail 
he could not live to reach the home country. But in spite 
of this, Rhodes's iron will refused to relinquish the idea. 
Clinging to thoughts of England he rallied considerably, and 
cabins were reserved and got ready on the mail boat due to 
sail on 26th March, and one cabin was fitted for him with 
electric fans, oxygen tubes and refrigerating pipes, so that 
it might be kept at the right temperature. 

I had come down from Bulawayo on 4th March in response 
to a telegram from him, to discuss the various developments 
ho had set going in Rhodesia, and every day he had fresh 
plans and ideas to talk over. 

About this time Rhodes was carrying out much tree 
planting in Rhodesia, both at Inyanga and Matopos, and in 
particular an avenue nearly three miles long was being made 
leading up to the new Government House at Bulawayo, 
which he had designed on the site of Lobengula's old kraal. 

He wished to know how much progress had been made, 
and the day before his death he said to me, ' Get that avenue 
through see it through. We have got to fulfil our promise 
to give shade to the nursemaids in the afternoons. Do not 
let this work fall behind. You tell me you are returning 
to-morrow. I shall soon be on your heels and hope to find 
the work going well.' No doubt he had in mind the story 
of the old Admiral planting acorns, who from his boyhood 



366 RHODES : A LIFE 

had been to him a source of inspiration. e Trees, trees- 
plant trees,' he said, ' help Nature in her efforts ; do not 
strangle her desire to cover the nakedness of the earth/ 
Ehodes's last thoughts were for his ' hobby in Matabeleland/ 

On this same day a telegraphic message reached him from 
Lord Kitchener saying the Boers had asked for a confer- 
ence and that he anticipated peace. ' Thank God,' said 
Rhodes ; e I hope the right leaders will be chosen to frame a 
lasting peace.' 

The end came as suddenly as his great soul could have 
wished. On 26th March, 1902, the day that he died, at the 
age of forty-nine, he murmured to Sir Lewis Michell, with a 
sigh of the deepest regret, ' So little done, so much to do/ 
a thought that had been at once the cause of all his im- 
patience and the driving force behind his work. The spirit 
of Rhodes was free at last from the disabilities which had 
irked and chafed it for so long ; but that spirit still remains 
to inspire those who shared his glowing vision those few to 
whom he confided his thoughts on work and life ; and con- 
tinues an influence from the Cape of Good Hope to tho 
furthest limits of Africa, the country to which Rhodes 
dedicated all his life. 

' Living he was the land, and dead 
His soul shall be her soul.' 




A 

a 
p 

w 
fl 
o 

w 

w 

o 



5 

H 



B 
B 



CHAPTER XXVIII 
HIS LAST TREK 

THE loyal band of friends, now left leaderless and desolate, 
gathered around the bed in that cottage on the shore where 
their leader had ended his simple life of great deeds for the 
Empire. In death the massive head of Rhodes showed 
dignified and determined. That ' Roman-ness * which had 
always made his strong features so impressive seemed to his 
friends even more pronounced than when he was alive. 

Spongier states that Rhodes is to be regarded as the first 
precursor of a Western type of Caesars, whose day is yet to 
come, though not distant, and that he stood midway 
between Napoleon and the force man of the next centuries. 
Undoubtedly he was ' that higher sort of man who, thanks 
to his preponderance of will, knowledge, wealth, and in- 
fluence, makes use of democratic peoples as their aptest and 
most mobile tool in order to bring into their own hand 
the destinies of the earth and as artists to shape " man " 
himself ; ' x and the death-mask shows clearly the strength 
and grim decision of purpose necessary to force towards 
achievement in one short lifetime the work which Rhodes 
accomplished. 

On the same night that he died, Rhodes's body was carried 
quietly and silently through the moonlight to Groote Schuur, 
whore it was placed in a coffin of Rhodesian teak and laid 
on a table in the wide hall. Here the friends and admirers 
of this great Imperialist came in tens of thousands to pay 
their last respects reverently to Cecil John Rhodes, the 
greatest man South Africa had ever seen. 

1 Nietzsche. 
367 



368 RHODES : A LIFE 

Said one of his critics : c There had been great Imperialists 
before him, but none had ever put the vision of a United 
Empire before his countrymen in such a way as to capture 
their imagination. For he was a great man of action, the 
last of the pioneers, and a dreamer is listened to if he is also 
a doer. Rhodes dreamed of an Empire closely bound 
together in tradition and policy, and therefore able to speak 
with all enemies in the gate.' 

The whole British Empire was plunged into mourning ; 
cables of condolence were received from all over the world ; 
and in Cape Town flags flew at half-mast and places of 
business were closed, while, the townsfolk moved slowly and 
quietly about their daily work, each one feeling the death of 
Rhodes as a personal bereavement. Thousands of wreaths 
were sent, including one from Queen Alexandra, and count- 
less small bundles of veld flowers were brought by poorer 
folk. No one thought any tribute too great or too small 
to offer to the memory of a leader who had treated 
rich and poor alike with unfailing fairness and con- 
sideration. 

It was decided to give Rhodes a State funeral, and, as 
soon as his own expressed desires were known, arrangements 
were speedily made to bury him accordingly, even though 
at first the difficulties of carrying him back to Rhodesia 
seemed insurmountable. In his will he had clearly stated : 
c I admire the grandeur and loneliness of the Matopos in 
Rhodesia, and therefore I desire to be buried in the Matopos 
on the hill which I used to visit and which I called a " View 
of the World," in a square to be cut in the rock on the top 
of the hill, covered with a plain brass plate with these words 
thereon : " Here lie the remains of Cecil John Rhodes." ' 

These instructions were telegraphed to me, and in response 
large gangs of natives were organised to cut a road for there 
was none from Rhodes's huts at the Matopo farm up to the 
mountain height he had chosen for his resting-place. Those 
and other preparations were carried on night and day HO 
that all might be ready and in order as he would have wished. 
On the summit of ' The World's View ' excavation was made 



His LAST TREK 369 

for the tomb a cavity hollowed in the solid granite and so 
that the outlook would be towards the north. 

On 2nd April the body, covered with the old Union Jack 
which used to hang in the billiard-room at Groote Schuur, 
was taken under an escort of Cape Mounted Police to the 
Houses of Parliament in Cape Town, where Rhodes had 
exercised during his political life a greater and wider influence 
than any politician of that or any other time. Here the 
coffin lay in state for a night and a day, watched over by a 
relayed guard of Cape Police posted at each corner of the 
bier, who stood immovable and silent, with arms reversed ; 
and here it was visited by all those sorrowing citizens who 
had not been able to make the last pilgrimage to Groote 
Rchuur. 

On the next day the body of Rhodes was carried in a 
mourning procession to the Cathedral, with Jameson, Sir 
Charles Mctcalfe, Sir Gordon Sprigg, Sir Lewis Michell, Sir 
Kdmund Stevenson, Dr. Smartt, the Hon. T. L. Graham, and 
Mr. J. B. Currcy as pall-bearers. There a service was held, 
the Archbishop delivering a poignant address on the text : 
* Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen 
thta day in Israel,' in wliich he summed up the aims and 
high ideals of Rhodes's life. 

Tho procession then re-formed, carrying the body to the 
railway station, where tho special train was waiting to bear 
it back to his * own country.' This was a new train which 
Sir Charles Mctcalfe had designed at Rhodes's desire, with 
a view to lemoning the discomforts of passengers on the long 
journey to the North, and Rhodes had watched its progress 
with much interest. By an irony of fate, it was only com- 
pleted in time to make its maiden trip carrying the body of 
him to whoso order it had been built. The whole train was 
draped in purple and black. The coffin was carried in the 
old Do BOOTH car in which Rhodes had so often worked and 
travelled, and which now had been prepared to bear him on 
his last journey to Rhodesia. This coach was linked up in 
front of the train, just behind the two powerful engines, so 
that oven in death the great leader still led the way North- 

M.U.K. 2 A 



370 RHODES : A LIFE 

ward. The bier was covered with wreaths, and two troopers 
of the Cape Police, with arms reversed, mounted guard 
throughout the whole journey. 

Thus with fitting and impressive ceremony Rhodes started 
on his last trek. At all the bigger stations where the funeral 
train stopped, a guard of honour was drawn up and the band 
played the Dead March. At smaller stations and at sidings 
on the bare veld bugles sounded the Last Post, and wreaths 
and crosses of flowers were brought in immense numbers. 
Mourners, both Dutch and English, Malay and native, were 
gathered on every platform, and it has been said that never 
has there been a more inspiring and impressive sight than 
that of the black-draped train with the open coach where lay 
the great man's remains, guarded by loyal troopers, travelling 
through the vast country he had loved so well. 

North of Beaufort West, in the fighting area, block-houses 
had been built on either side of the line ; beside these the 
little garrisons stood to attention like statues, with arms 
reversed, as the funeral train rushed by. A pilot engine 
preceded the train as far as Mafeking, which from there was 
escorted by an armoured train, carrying a search-light and 
sweeping the country on either side of the line. 

At Kimberloy the train waited for several hours, while 
thousands of people, many of whom owed everything to 
Rhodes, filed past the car. At Vryburg, the town whoso 
very existence was due to him, the train was detained for a 
night, for peace had not yet been definitely declared, and it 
was considered unsafe to proceed during darkness. 

Rhodes's body reached Bulawayo on 8th April, and in the 
Drill Hall, where it lay in state throughout the day, tho first 
part of the funeral service, a most impressive one, was 
held, every settler within possible reach being present. 
The coffin was then taken out to the huts on his Matopo 
farm escorted by fifty B.S.A.P. troopers, and it rested there 
for a night, in the hut which he had used as dining-room, 
open to the wide veld on all four sides. The people of 
Rhodesia had come into Bulawayo from immense distances ; 
from those farms and mines where Rhodes had shown so 




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372 RHODES : A LIFE 

lowered with chains to its grave in the rock in utter and 
impressive silence. 

When those hardy pioneers with grim and serious faces 
the men who had followed Rhodes's lead and left the peace 
and comfort of the south to extend and develop his own 
country turned to go back down the hill, leaving their 
Chief alone in his resting-place, there was not one who did 
not feel an irreparable loss. Slowly the vast gathering of 
mourners sadly retraced their steps to the sound of the 
Matabele warriors chanting, as is their custom, the praises 
of the departed Chief. Slowly they made their way back to 
their homesteads and their work, leaving him who had 
inspired it all, and who would inspire it still, to rest at last 
amid the solitude and the grandeur which he loved so much. 



Three weeks later Colonel Frank Rhodes met the prin- 
cipal Matabele chiefs at 'The World's View/ He told them 
that his brother had so loved the country and its people that 
he had given directions he should be buried in the Matopos. 
' Now I leave my brother's grave in your hands,' said Colonel 
Rhodes with much feeling, * as a proof that I know the white 
men and the Matabele will be friends and brothers for ever.' 
The natives then advanced and in their own tongue spoke 
of their love for the great white chief and of the honour thus 
paid them. They were glad to know that his spirit was with 
them in the Matopos, and they and their children's children 
would keep their sacred trust. x 

Thus the grave of Rhodes is watched over and guarded by 
the once savage tribes in whose hands he risked his life to 
bring peace to the country. The wideness and simplicity 
of his living outlook are reflected in the surroundings of the 
grave where he lies, high above the country on every side, 
facing ever towards the North, and like Moses of old looking 
down upon the Promised Land a land, however, which 
Rhodes had actually reached and on which he had left an 
indelible impress. 



1 Francis Masey. 




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His LAST TREK 373 

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death 26th March, 
1927 a great Memorial Service was held at his grave, which 
was attended by hundreds of people from all over South 
Africa, but mainly of course from Rhodesia. Cabled mes- 
sages came from Rhodes Scholars in Canada, the United 
States, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, 
and elsewhere expressing their admiration of Rhodes's 
efforts for the betterment of mankind, and one or two 
remarked on the outstanding truth he had discovered and 
often quoted e The great secret of life is work/ 

An aged native, M'Kumbesi by name and a member of 
the Kumalo (royal) family, who had been one of the leading 
rebels in 1896, was also present with a considerable follow- 
ing. At the conclusion of the service he came forward and 
called as loudly as his voice permitted : c Siya Gubingelela 
M'lamula N'Kunzi. Sibi bandhla lako. Ubo si kongela 
pambili/ * We greet you, Separator of the Fighting Bulls. 
We are your people. Submit our homage (intercede for us) 
in the Hereafter/ This tribute from the Matabele nation, 
though quite unexpected, was no surprise to those who knew 
the kindly feeling the Matabele entertained towards Rhodes. 
M'Kumbesi having thus addressed the spirit of Rhodes 
withdrew with his small company of followers* 



CHAPTER XXTX 

AN EXAMPLE TO MANKIND 

IT has been given to few men including the greatest in 
history to achieve so much even in a long life, as did Rhodes 
in his short career, and in his case neither his work nor his 
benefactions ceased with his death. There is in Africa an 
influence working for the good of humanity an influence 
possessed by no other colonial dominion ; for the undying 
spirit of Rhodes continues to inspire that country, to the 
progress of which he gave his life. 

By his final Will, made in 1899, Rhodes's fortune, after 
payment of some considerable legacies, was almost ex- 
clusively dedicated to the public service, and his plans for 
the disposal of this vast wealth, when he should be no longer 
able to direct them, were as limitless and far-seeing as those 
dreams towards the attainment of which he had worked 
throughout his life. He saw far into the future, and he 
ordained and left his estate in trust with the absolute 
certainty that his desires would duly materialise. Although 
his plans have not in all respects yet produced the results 
for which he hoped, the accuracy of his belief in a future 
Federation of the South African States has since been 
proved. So sure was he of the ultimate coming of that 
Federation for which he had worked so long, that he directed 
his home of Groote Schuur to be held as a residence for the 
first Prime Minister of the Federal Government of South 
Africa. 

As a further proof of his extraordinary gift of foresight it 
is of interest to note that he also made arrangements for a 
part of the capital in his estate invested in the diamond 

374 



AN EXAMPLE TO MANKIND 375 

mines to be transferred into Government Stock against that 
distant day when he foresaw that these mines would become 
worked out. 

Rhodes's intense unselfishness is shown by every clause of 
his Will. The wideness and thoroughness with which he had 
arranged each bequest, and the care with which he had 
thought out every detail for the welfare of those he wished 
to benefit, effectively silenced his detractors and converted 
to his ideas many of those who had remained critical of his 
life and deeds or had imputed personal motives to his 
Imperial work. 

The Will arranged for the completion and erection of the 
monument to those who fell at Shangani in the first Matabele 
War. This was to be placed in the Matopos on the hill on 
his estate which he called ' The World's View/ which he 
desired should be preserved as a burial-place for all those 
South Africans whom the Government felt ' had deserved 
well of their country/ 

His estates in Rhodesia were left in trust for the people of 
the territory, to be cultivated for their instruction, for Rhodes 
had always devoted much of his time to the farming in- 
dustry. And it is interesting to notice that, with his intense 
love of forestry, he directed that the property near Bulawayo 
should be planted with f every possible tree and should be 
made and preserved and maintained as a park for the people 
of Rhodesia/ for Rhodes always insisted that if a man was 
to do useful work in the world, fresh air and country scenery 
were very necessary to him. He gave practical proof of 
this in the early days of the diamond mines by the provision 
he made in this respect for his employees there. He also 
arranged that a short railway line should be constructed 
from Bulawayo to the Matopos, * so that the people of 
Bulawayo may enjoy the glory of these hills from Saturday 
to Monday/ a phrase which illuminates the wide sympathy, 
love, and thought he held for all men. 

The Inyanga estates were to be used for experimental 
farming amd forestry, fruit growing and irrigation, and 
generally for the help and instruction of other settlers ; for 



376 EHODES : A LIFE 

Rhodes had early learned the necessity of experiment if the 
problems in the way of successful agricultural progress in a 
new country were to be overcome, fully understanding the 
impossibility of the heavy expense of such experiments being 
borne by the farming community themselves. 

The English estates were left in the Trust, with the 
exception of that of Dalston, and the income from these 
was to be divided between Rhodes's living brothers and 
sisters. The Dalham Hall estate was left to Colonel 
Prank Rhodes for his life, after which it would pass to his 
sons, or failing this go to Rhodes's second brother, Ernest 
Frederick Rhodes, upon the same terms ; and in regard to 
this Rhodes stated very clearly his views on what a man's 
life should be if he merited the responsibility of being an 
English landowner, enunciating again his creed of the 
necessity for work. 

He wrote : * Whereas I feel that it is the essence of a 
proper life that every man should during some substantial 
period thereof have some definite occupation, and I object 
to an expectant heir developing into what I call a " loafer." 
And whereas the rental of the Dalham Hall estate is not 
more than sufficient for the maintenance of the estate, and 
my experience is that one of the things making for the 
strength of England is the ownership of country estates 
which could maintain the dignity and comfort of the head 
of the family, but that this position has been absolutely 
ruined by the practice of creating charges upon the estates 
either for younger children or for the payment of debts 
whereby the estates become insufficient to maintain the 
head of the family in dignity and comfort.' Believing firmly 
that one of the secrets of England's strength had been the 
existence of a class termed c the country landlords/ he left 
a sum amounting to two thousand pounds a year for the 
upkeep of the estate, and enjoined that those who inherited 
Dalham Hall should have been engaged for at least ten 
consecutive years in some business or occupation and should 
have been a member of a militia or volunteer corps. This 
admiration for the old feudal system can be clearly traced 



AN EXAMPLE TO MANKIND 377 

back to the happy days of his boyhood, when Rhodes stayed 
with ' Aunt Sophie ' at Sleaf ord Manor and there tasted the 
joys and responsibilities of an English country life. 

He left one hundred thousand pounds to his old college, 
Oriel, in the University of Oxford, and directed that out of 
this the sum of forty thousand pounds should be applied for 
the erection of new buildings, and fifteen hundred pounds a 
year put aside to make up a deficiency which he had dis- 
covered existed in the college revenue. The income from 
ten thousand pounds was to be held as a fund for maintaining 
the dignity and comfort of the High Table and of the resident 
Fellows, and a further sum of the same amount was to be 
held as a repair fund, and the income from this expended in 
maintaining and repairing the college buildings. And finally 
Rhodes wrote most wisely, and with a touch of humour, that 
c as the college authorities live secluded from the world and 
so are like children as to commercial matters, I would advise 
them to consult my trustees as to the investment of these 
various funds/ 

From this it can be clearly seen with what absolute 
thoroughness he had thought of and considered the welfare 
of his old college, for which he had always felt so much affec- 
tion and gratitude and which he now repaid a thousandfold. 

In regard to the Groote Schuur legacy, there were further 
directions that no suburban residences should be erected on 
the land, but that any buildings which might be erected 
thereon in the future must be used exclusively for public 
purposes and should be in a style of architecture similar to, 
and in harmony with, the main house. With the considerate 
knowledge that a Prime Minister was not of necessity a man 
of means, Rhodes also directed that a thousand pounds a 
year should be expended on keeping and maintaining for the 
use of that Prime Minister at least two carriage horses, one 
or more carriages, and sufficient stable servants. In addition 
to this the kitchen and flower gardens were to be kept up 
and the wages of two competent men servants paid. 

The main part of Rhodes's Will that which has interested 
the whole English-speaking world and by which that world 



378 RHODES : A LIFE 

has benefited was the clause which provided for the educa- 
tion of young colonists and young Americans at Oxford. 
Rhodes considered ' that the education of young colonists 
at one of the Universities in the United Kingdom is of great 
advantage to them for giving breadth to their' views and for 
their instruction in life and manners, and for instilling into 
their minds the advantage to their colonies, as well as to 
the United Kingdom, of the retention of a united Empire.' 
In 1900, after his visit to the German Emperor, Rhodes 
added a codicil allowing for five German scholarships, the 
scholars to be nominated by the Emperor ; but these 
scholarships were cancelled, probably temporarily, by Act of 
Parliament during the Great War. 

The system by which Rhodes desired his scholars to be 
chosen was entirely original and gave clear indication of the 
mathematical accuracy of method, together with the un- 
limited imagination, which had enabled Mm during his life 
to reach his dreams. He desired ' that the students who 
shall be elected to the scholarships shall not be merely 
bookworms,' and directed that in the election of a student 
to a scholarship, ' regard shall be had to (I) his literary and 
scholastic attainments ; (IT) his fondness of and success in 
manly outdoor sports such as cricket, football, and the like ; 
(HE) his qualities of manhood, truth, courage, devotion to 
duty, sympathy for the protection of the weak, kindliness, 
unselfishness, and fellowship ; and (IV) his exhibition during 
school days of moral force of character and of instincts to 
lead and to take an interest in his schoolmates, for those 
latter attributes will be likely in after life to guide him to 
esteem the performance of public duties as his highest aim. 
As mere suggestions for the guidance of those who will have 
the choice of students for the scholarships, I record that 
(I) my ideal qualified student would combine these four 
qualifications in the proportions of 3/10ths for the first, 
2/10ths for the second, 3/10ths for the third, and 2/10ths for 
the fourth qualification ; so that, according to my ideas, if 
the maximum of marks for any scholarship were 200 they 
would be apportioned as follows : 60 to each of the first and 



AN EXAMPLE TO MANKIND 379 

third qualifications, and 40 to each of the second and fourth 
qualifications ; (II) the marks for the several qualifications 
would be awarded independently as follows (that is to say), 
the marks for the first qualification by examination, for the 
second and third qualifications respectively by ballot by the 
fellow-students of the candidates, and for the fourth quali- 
fication by the headmaster of the candidate's school ; and 
(III) the results of the awards (that is to say the marks 
obtained by each candidate for each qualification) would be 
sent as soon as possible for consideration to the trustees or 
to some person or persons appointed to receive the same, 
and the person or persons so appointed would ascertain by 
averaging the marks in blocks of 20 marks each of all 
candidates the best ideal qualified students.' With such 
precision Rhodes reduced the voting for a scholar to the 
simplest possible proportions, though it is curious to notice 
that those characteristics he himself possessed so strongly 
moral force of character and the instinct to lead without 
which he could not have attained to his ideal, were not 
ranked so highly by him as literary and scholastic attain- 
ments or truth, courage, kindness, and unselfishness. He 
also desired that no student should be either qualified or 
disqualified on account of his race or religious opinions. 

This scholarship scheme is such an immense thought that 
it is difficult for ordinary minds to see the whole extent of 
what the founder hoped it might accomplish throughout 
future generations. Obviously the fact that a certain 
number of young men from America and the British colonies 
who could not otherwise afford a University education would 
be enabled to go to Oxford was the least part of Rhodes's 
dream. Beyond and above a University course, he saw a 
world-fellowship of picked young men of the English-speaking 
races. Such fellowship, cemented in youth, while young 
Colonials learned the traditions of the old country and 
Englishmen grasped something of the wideness and the 
scope for enterprise afforded by the new, Rhodes believed 
would endure through all the years of the manhood of those 
who, gathered from all the world, had worked together at 



380 EHODES : A LIFE 

Oxford, and would continue to bring about a great brother- 
hood of English-speaking men in which the British Empire 
should be the pioneer of an ever-extending progress through- 
out the world. 

What Rhodes did not foresee, chiefly owing to his simple 
human belief, was that when he was gone his plans would 
lack the momentum of personal inspiration, and that his 
schemes could not be pushed forward as rapidly as would 
have been the case in his lifetime. Followers of a great 
leader cannot even with the highest intentions adequately 
represent that man himself, and although Rhodes's trustees 
have worked loyally and strenuously to carry out his wishes, 
they have failed to some extent only because they have 
not possessed Rhodes's mind and his power of impelling 
others to work towards his goal. 

The Great War produced an upheaval Rhodes could not 
foresee. Many of the first Rhodes scholars, who had some 
personal acquaintance with him, and knew something of his 
views and were therefore strongly imbued with his spirit, 
were killed in action ; others who on the outbreak of war were 
ready to go to Oxford, went into the army instead, and, with 
the coining of peace, did not return to a University career. 

Among those who are there now it is said that a certain 
parochialism (that term so loathed by Rhodes) appeared for 
a short time, and the Rhodes scholars were inclined at first 
to make for themselves a little world of their own within the 
University, not identifying themselves with their colleges, 
and to live apart, and so fail to gain the full advantages 
Rhodes wished them to secure. These passing troubles, 
however, are gradually disappearing, and it has become 
possible to extend the privileges of the scholars, while the 
greatness of the ideas expressed in Rhodes's scholarship 
scheme to the details of which he devoted so many hours of 
thought is beginning to appeal forcibly to those whose 
hearts and minds are big enough to follow where the founder 
still leads in spirit, seeking to draw young men ever forward 
and urging them to strive as he did, as pioneers of a wider 
civilisation for the betterment of mankind. 



CHAPTER XXX 

'THE WISH CAME TO ME TO RENDER MYSELF 
USEFUL TO MY COUNTRY ' 

IN an attempt to weigh up the achievement of Rhodes we 
are met by one insurmountable obstacle. Although so much 
of his work is clear and definite the addition of a vast area 
to the Empire an even greater portion of his labour for 
humanity is incalculable because it is intangible, though of 
no less vital importance. 

Rhodes possessed a most generous nature, firmly believing 
in and carrying out the maxim, ' Do good with your wealth 
before you die/ Not one of his friends knew the extent of 
his quiet and private charities. .And beyond and above 
these lies the inspiration he gave to others and the example 
that he set to the world, of courage, self-control, and un- 
failing determination in the face of desperate odds an 
example which will live for ever throughout the continent 
to which he dedicated all his life. * When he stood on the 
Cape Peninsula/ said Mark Twain, ' his shadow fell on the 
Zambesi.' Those who worked for him have said his trust 
compelled their greatest effort ; and many have proved that 
a man of even ordinary attainments could accomplish 
apparent impossibilities when he came under the spell of 
Rhodes's personality. 

Since the days of the Caesars the destinies of the world 
have been controlled and moved by men of strong character. 
Such men have been produced, though very sparingly, by 
most countries, and England has been fortunate in her 
number, among whom are to be found the names of Alfred, 
Cromwell, Pitt, Olive, Nelson, and Rhodes. All have been 

381 



382 EHODES : A LIFE 

imaginative some mathematically, some efficiently so. 
Rhodes was of the latter type, and while his imagination 
drove men to the furthering of his great schemes, it was 
his efficiency coupled with the devotion he inspired that 
brought most of these to success. 

At a very early age Rhodes grasped the fact that life was 
a serious and important crisis, one which could only be 
adequately faced by a man possessed of a definite and far- 
reaching purpose. So much he realised in bis youth, and 
this was the cause of the apparent indecision of the early 
years of his manhood. He believed that it was necessary 
for every man to find an a,JTn sufficiently great and definite 
for which to strive throughout his life, and to which he could 
devote all his energy. 

From the narrow confines of the country parsonage under 
the rule of an autocratic father, this was difficult ; and had 
it not been for the ill-health which caused Rhodes to be sent 
to a wider and more open life, it is doubtful whether he ever 
would have found the one purpose which was to animate 
and inspire the whole of his life and work. 

At the age of twenty, we know that the wish came to him 
* To be useful to my country,' and when he died twenty-nine 
years later his country's Empire had been enlarged by an 
extent of over 800,000 square miles. These vast spaces had 
been to some extent settled and developed, the ambitions of 
foreign Powers had been frustrated, and the native races of 
those territories brought to a peaceful and progressive way 
of life. 

After his arrival in Natal, he took three years to think 
and decide on a life purpose, and having found a goal so 
far beyond the apparent limits of human endeavour as to 
appear to ordinary minds completely out of reach he 
dedicated his life to reaching that far-seen objective, be- 
lieving implicitly that ' if you concentrate your mind on a 
thing you will attain to it.' 

Having secured an aim in life, he devoted eight years to 
arming and preparing himself for the fight he knew would 
be necessary if he were to bring his striving to fruition. 



To RENDER MYSELF USEFUL 383 

For this he realised the necessity of education, the 
acquisition of wealth and power, and the development of a 
capacity for hard work. Rhodes never wished to possess 
money for purposes of his own, but he early grasped its 
necessity if he hoped to make tangible his gigantic dreams. 
Although there is no doubt that at one period of his career 
he desired to attain fame, that passed quickly ; and in later 
years he was wont to say and to believe ' the greatest 
happiness will not be found in fame but in work well com- 
pleted.' 

He studied his fellow-man and early learnt how best to 
sway him and bring him to his own beliefs. In this regard 
it is remarkable how closely the words of young Hubert 
Hervey echoed Rhodes's thought, when he said, * Only believe 
in your idea and it will carry you through every difficulty. 
If you live you will do great things ; if you die well ! how 
can you die better ? And your idea will not die/ 

On the cotton plantation of Natal Rhodes learned the 
necessity of perseverance and attention to detail. These he 
turned to good account on the Diamond Fields, where, with 
the view of gaining that education he considered so necessary, 
he set himself to make sufficient money to enable him to 
take a University career, and with this in his mind he worked 
unsparingly in those rough, uncomfortable surroundings. 
The mining life, however, gave him an education as valuable 
as that which he gained at the University, since it taught 
>n to appreciate rough exteriors and to see deep into men's 
hearts. 

At Oxford he gained many friends who remained his 
friends for all time, and he there developed that quality of 
confidence in himself which is essential for a leader of men. 

Rhodes dreamed of the governance of the world by the 
English-speaking races ; and he wished the British and 
Americans to work together, believing that thus they could 
build up between them a world worth living in. These aims 
later crystallized into the one word ' expansion.' He de- 
sired to extend the dominion of Great Britain and to give 
the English-speaking peoples room to make more homes. 



384 RHODES : A LIFE 

To the late W. T. Stead, of whom he held a high opinion 
and with whom he discussed many questions when they met, 
he said, during a visit to England : * I have come to the 
conclusion that the English-speaking race, whether British, 
American, Australian, or South African, is the type of race 
which does now, and is likely to continue to do in the future, 
the most practical and effective work to establish justice, to 
promote liberty, and to ensure peace over the widest possible 
area of this planet. Therefore, if there be a God and He 
cares anything about what I do, I think it is clear that He 
would like me to do what He is doing Himself. And as 
He is manifestly fashioning the English-speaking race as the 
chosen instrument by which he will bring in a state of society 
based on Justice, Liberty, and Peace, He must obviously 
wish me to do what I can to give as much scope and power 
to the race as possible.' His faith in the future of the 
English-speaking race was profound. ' The British Empire 
and America working amicably together can impose peace 
on the world,' he said on another occasion. 

In creating the Ehodes Scholarships there is no doubt his 
main object was to draw more closely together the bonds 
uniting Great Britain and her Empire to America, believing 
as he did that in time a mutual understanding between the 
two would be reached, and that they would then with a 
united front prevent any war and do great things towards 
spreading the highest forms of civilisation throughout the 
world. Possessing practically the same high ideals, a com- 
bination of the two nations would, he believed, exercise an 
all-powerful influence for good in the world. The scheme 
has now been in operation for over twenty years, sufficiently 
long to enable us to say whether Rhodes's aspirations are 
being fulfilled to the extent he had in mind. On the whole, 
the results so far may be looked on as favourable, and many 
of the scholars who have been in residence at Oxford have 
gone back to their respective countries or states spreading 
the message of goodwill as he hoped they would. A new 
feeling much 'more friendly in tone is being created in 
America as regards the British, and the bulk of the Rhodes 



To BENDER MYSELF USEFUL 385 

scholars who return there interpret us as we are and speak 
with much affection of the friends made by them during 
their sojourn in England. 

Answering a remark (in 1900) of Sir Alfred Milner, 
who was regretting the anti-British feeling so often dis- 
played in the United States, Rhodes said : ' It is only a 
question of time for the people of the States to realise 
what they owe to England. Be assured that, when any 
really serious crisis arises, people of a common language 
will stand together. I have no fear of the future. As young 
men we all think we know more about affairs than our 
fathers, but as time wears on we come to regret that we 
failed to avail ourselves of their experience. I have no fear 
of America. The hatred that we are told exists and which 
is probably true, is mainly surface hatred due largely to an 
unreasoned jealousy which will disappear as time goes on, 
when her people will come to laugh at it. As her age 
increases she will find responsibilities will be thrust upon her 
which she will not find it possible to decline or ignore, and 
once these begin to weigh upon her, as they will, her attitude 
will surely change.' There is little doubt to-day that 
Rhodes's prediction that the outcome of these scholarships 
would in time provide a solution for international misunder- 
standings will be achieved. People are even now beginning 
to realise that the Rhode? Scholarships are already creating 
international thought and tending to make history. 

A certain aloofness about Rhodes discouraged familiarity, 
but the occasional expression of intimate affection towards 
him gave him the utmost pleasure. His directness of speech 
in giving practical effect to his ideas caused many people to 
say he lacked tact. Thereto they were wrong, for he pos- 
sessed that quality in plenty and used it with effect. In 
later days his knowledge of human nature went so deep that 
if an adversary got into difficulties Rhodes would never watch, 
with the grim satisfaction many men show, his efforts to ex- 
tricate himself, for ' if you rise above that sort of thing/ he 
said, 'you may reasonably hope that your opponent of 
to-day may follow your lead at no distant to-morrow/ 

U.O.B. 2 B 



386 RHODES : A LIFE 

Rhodes was no more perfect than any other man. His 
faults were many, but the high quality of his great merits 
fax outweighed these, and few men ever exercised a stronger 
influence for good than this prophetic and practical visionary 
to whose forethought and inspiration Africa owes so much. 
He possessed that spirit which has enabled men to become 
leaders in times of crisis in every age. Men of such a type, 
imbued with one or two immense ideas, are usually devoid 
of those minor qualities which bring popularity, and in these 
Rhodes was certainly lacking. He had a rough truthfulness, 
almost brutal at times, which often gave offence ; but he was 
always most regretful when he found he had hurt anyone in 
this way. His detachment from everything which did not 
concern the schemes he was working at caused many people 
to say he lacked human kindness. This was not so, however, 
for he was a man full of human sympathy and sentiment. 
Towards those suffering from any distress he was generous 
to a degree ; and I remember Alfred Beit telling me once 
that in the Kimberley days he could rarely get Rhodes to 
look at things from a purely material point of view, even 
when they were negotiating business deals. Rhodes would 
say, ' It is a good thing to be human ; we are all the 
better for it. Let us yield his point. You must concede 
something to sentiment. I like him for it. Tell him we 
agree, Beit/ 

His tastes were .of the simplest, and ostentation of wealth 
he held in contempt, while he never sought or desired 
political and social honours. He had one object in his 
mind, and to the furtherance of that everything else was 
subjected. As a statesman he showed remarkable foresight 
and breadth of view. In this respect his only possible 
comparison would be with another great Englishman 
Cromwell whom he resembled in other ways as well, 
notably in a quality of personal magnetism. 

While still an undergraduate he began to work and strive 
towards his goal, and he pursued that single course through- 
out his life without the slightest deviation. When he could 
not move towards it from one direction, he would retire in 



To RENDER MYSELF USEFUL 387 

order the better to advance from another, and each mistake 
he made he turned to good account. ' Look forward always/ 
he would say, * and remember that experience gone through 
in the past, however bitter, will photograph itself on your 
mind and help you in the future.' Though he often met with 
intense opposition he never abandoned either a policy or an 
idea ; and he became known throughout the world as the 
man who made his dreams come true. On the threshold of 
his life Rhodes dreamed, and he lived to mould a continent 
to the form of those dreams. 

In spite of hard knocks, bitter disappointments, and 
intense disillusion, Rhodes ever forged towards his ideal with 
grim and inflexible determination. While still young he had 
developed the characteristic of looking with extreme accuracy 
into the future, and he could at any time fall into a reverie 
with his maps spread out before him and enter a world which 
he had conquered in imagination and had already peopled 
and developed in his dreams. 

The width and immensity of these dreams were limitless 
and reached out into the far distant future. They were not 
bounded, as are the schemes of ordinary men, by the span 
of their creator's life, but extended forward and moved 
onward down the further avenues of human progress. ' I love 
to think,' said Rhodes, ' that human beings will walk this 
way long after I am gone.' 

He had the deepest respect for religion and would never 
listen to loose talk against any creed. Every belief, no 
matter of what form, said h&, tended to better conditions in 
the world, and the opinions of those who scoffed at any 
religion were unworthy of consideration. 

On the Diamond Fields he amalgamated the Kimberley 
mines, thereby safeguarding the diamond industry of the 
world, and he did much towards the development of the 
great goldfields of the Transvaal, in this way opening up 
for the inhabitants of South Africa, both white and coloured, 
a new era of prosperity and enterprise. 

Rhodes believed in and doggedly fought for equal rights 
for Boers and British, and by the force of this belief he won 

M.O.B. 2B2 



388 RHODES : A LIFE 

over to his views that strong and hitherto obstinate party, 
the Afrikander Bond, but he was never for one moment 
deceived as to the real nature of the aims of President 
Kroger, or blind to the trend of his aspirations for one 
all-powerful State in South Africa. Rhodes, however, always 
preferred when possible to treat with people rather than to 
fight with them, and until the South African War he never 
relinquished the hope of being able to come to an agreement 
with Kruger which would be acceptable to both British and 
Dutch. But no friendly response had ever come from the 
grim President whose narrow vision brought disaster after 
disaster on a country he loved as greatly as did Rhodes, 
whose broader outlook took him much further and who saw 
as much good in the Dutch as in the British, for Rhodes 
fully realised the importance of the Boers to a country where 
the solid virtues of pluck and endurance are necessary to 
every settler. f We must keep the Dutch with us,' he said. 
' If there is one quality that characterises the Dutch people 
more than another it is their common sense, but they are 
being badly led and are being turned away from their true 
interests by race feeling which is being preached to them by 
those who ought to know much better.' 

Rhodes foresaw what others had not yet realised, that if 
South Africa was to take her place among the nations of the 
world, the scattered fragments then in existence must be 
welded into a coherent whole. For this he was convinced 
the co-operation of the Dutch was absolutely necessary. In 
this regard Rhodes pursued a wiser policy when he spoke of 
federation, than did Jameson, Botha, and de Villiers, who 
in later years succeeded in carrying the various States into 
an actual Union, the rigid bonds of which were bound to 
gall two nations possessing many opposite characteristics. 

Beyond and above the wish to federate the South African 
States, Rhodes determined to secure the Hinterland of the 
Cape and all the country beyond for settlement by the 
colonists and the overflow from the crowded population of 
Britain. The country north of the Limpopo River was ever 
in his dreams that country high and cool though under the 



To RENDER MYSELF USEFUL 389 

equator, a fit place for white settlers in which to establish 
homes. Ehodes had accurately gauged that whoever held 
the high plateau of Central Africa would possess a favourable 
position for unlimited expansion. And by expansion he 
meant not merely the seizing and holding of coveted territory, 
but the carrying there of communications and all the higher 
civilisation of Empire over the last unoccupied territory of 
the world. He had begun early in the 'eighties to urge the 
'construction of a railway to the Diamond Fields, which 
railway he realised might, when the time came, be extended 
northward through the heart of Africa. He saw this railway 
as the vertebrae of the continent, with off-shoots spreading 
east and west, carrying the necessities of life to far-away 
settlers through the length and breadth of Africa, and in 
return bringing their produce to the markets of the world, 
and he never ceased in his efforts till he achieved his 
purpose. 

Long before our Imperial politicians were awake to the 
wealth and importance of the country lying north of the 
Cape Colony, Ehodes had foreseen the vital necessity of 
gaining control therein for Great Britain, nor was he content 
merely with concessions. In almost every case Beohuana- 
land, Mashonaland, Gazaland, Barotseland, and the country 
north of the Zambesi he made the gaining of all territory 
merely a prelude to peaceful occupation and the development 
of its mineral and agricultural resources. 

His work for Rhodesia w;as characterised by his thorough- 
ness and the attention he always paid to every detail of that 
country's welfare. Not only did Rhodes gain that vast area 
for Britain, but he settled and to a great extent civilised it, 
gave it railways and telegraphs, subsidised on a large scale 
its vast mineral resources, and ensured peace between the 
native races and the white men. 

In the face of tremendous odds and against the constant 
encroachments and obstructions of the Portuguese, during 
the first four years of the country's history, he succeeded in 
keeping open the route to Beira, without which Rhodesia 
would have remained under a handicap so severe that it is 



390 RHODES : A LIFE 

doubtful whether in her earlier days she could have main- 
tained the fight for her existence. 

The first decisive act of his expansion policy was the 
securing for Britain and holding in the face of immense 
odds of the cession of Lower Bechuanaland from Chief Man- 
karoane and the petition for its annexation by Cape Colony 
from the Dutch farmers in that territory. At this time 
Rhodes was playing a lone hand for the Empire, and for 
this purpose he went alone to the hostile Boer camp and 
there, by his consummate tact and understanding of his 
fellow-men, gained the confidence of those turbulent free- 
booters whose actions were rapidly precipitating a native 
war. When the Cape Colony failed to support him, rather 
than relinquish what he had gained at so great a cost, he 
turned for help to the Imperial Government and for once 
was not disappointed. By securing Bechuanaland to the 
Empire it was realised that Rhodes had not only increased 
British territory, but had for the time being checked the 
very serious pretensions of both Germany and the Transvaal, 
who were then threatening to join in forcing a barrier across 
Africa, which, had they been successful, would have put an 
impossible obstacle in the way of the development and 
expansion of the Cape. 

Ehodes made strenuous efforts to secure for Great Britain 
the Katanga country and the rest of what is now the southern 
territory of the Congo State, but ill-health among the 
members of the expedition he had sent up so delayed it that 
when it did arrive it was found to be too late, as the territory 
had already been conceded to agents of King Leopold of 
Belgium. 

Although he strove desperately to gain a general customs 
union which should ensure an equal prosperity for the whole 
of South Africa, he was defeated in this desire by narrow 
prejudice. But he had no difficulty in achieving his purpose 
in Rhodesia, where he was able to arrange that the customs 
tariffs for Imperial goods entering that country should be 
fixed and stabilised by the * Rhodes Clause * of the Order in 
Council of 1898, and never rated higher than those which 



To RENDER MYSELF USEFUL 391 

were imposed on merchandise entering Cape Colony at that 
time. 

He studied to a great extent the welfare of the farming 
community, realising their problems and the essential fact 
that farmers are the backbone of a country. 

In regard to the native races, he followed unwaveringly a 
policy of firmness and of justice, always remembering that 
the uncivilised peoples are children in the family of progress 
and must be led quietly and slowly toward a realisation of 
the responsibilities of life, if they are ever to play their 
proportionate part in the welfare of their country. 

The entry into politics of a personality so full of restless 
energy and dynamic force as Rhodes was bound to make an 
immense difference to the somewhat placid parliamentary 
life of the Cape Colony. He entered Parliament determined 
to work for the extermination of racialism and the improve- 
ment of trade, and in following this dual policy he never 
lost sight of his inflexible determination to extend British 
territory with a definite aim of one day linking up South 
and North Africa under the British flag. 

' Sometimes/ he said in a speech he made at a luncheon 
given him by his old college, Oriel, ' in pursuing my object, 
the enlargement of the British Empire, and with it the cause 
of peace, industry, and freedom, I have adopted means in 
removing opposition which were the rough-and-ready way 
and not the highest way to attain that object. But you 
must remember that in South Africa, where my work has 
lain, the laws of right and equity are not so fixed and 
established as in this country ; and if I have once or twice 
done things which savoured rather of violence than of 
protest or peaceful striving, yet you must look back to far- 
off times in English history for a parallel to the state of 
things in South Africa. I believe my neighbour, the Regius 
Professor of History, could tell you that in those past times 
there have been not a few men who have done good service 
to the State, but some of whose actions have partaken of 
the violence of their age, which are hard to justify in a more 
peaceful and law-abiding age. It is among those men that 



392 RHODES : A LIFE 

my own life and actions must be weighed, and I trust to the 
justice of my countrymen/ 

None of his work was dictated by chance, it was all thought 
out and debated in his mind ; he asked for and weighed the 
views of others on most of his ideas, and, foreseeing the 
result, he could then set about his purpose with well-balanced 
judgment and tact. 

Though he turned towards many a wrong road in his 
efforts to reach his ideal, in almost every case he realised 
the error quickly enough to enable him to break back to the 
main track, with only a consequent loss of time. On a few 
occasions, however, Ehodes did actually leave the way that 
he had chosen and find himself in a by-path leading nowhere 
notably in the Parnell correspondence and the Schnadhorst 
incident. But considering the immense scope of his energies, 
it is extraordinary how seldom in the course of a hurried life 
he missed the straight road to his goal. 

Yet, high as were the qualities Rhodes possessed, certain 
reservations must be made in respect of his character in one 
or two directions. There were times in his later years when 
flashes of such a degree of imperiousness and petulance were 
displayed as to astound one. It is true they were of short 
duration and such outbursts were rare, but nevertheless most 
unpleasant. At other times his impatience became so un- 
reasonable as to be almost unendurable, but he made such 
ample amends when he realised what had occurred that 
lapses of the sort, which were almost entirely due to ill-health, 
lost him very few friends. 

Now that we are able to consider his record dispassionately, 
we must stand amazed at what he achieved in the short 
period that was available to him. Was he satisfied with 
the work he had effected ? To that I can safely say, no. 
Valiantly as he had fought for success in all his undertakings, 
he felt that he had made many mistakes, forgetting that 
c the man who never makes mistakes never makes anything/ 
and it should not be overlooked that it was in the disinterested 
pursuit of noble aims that these mistakes were made. 

There is no doubt his support of the Reform Movement 



To RENDER MYSELF USEFUL 393 

born of impatience at his failure to treat with Kruger and 
the Transvaal brought the resulting Jameson Raid, and for 
a while threatened his greatest schemes with disaster. But, 
just as no one can trace the whole results of any one action, 
however small, so it is impossible to calculate the set-back 
caused by Jameson's action to Rhodes's plans for a federation 
of the South African States. Yet we can say with certainty 
that in the years following its occurrence Rhodes showed a 
gentler, a more patient and human character, for no man can 
prove his worth in unbroken prosperity. 

For months after the Raid, Rhodes despised his whole 
being. ' I blundered/ he said to me in Rhodesia, early in 
1896. 'God, how badly I blundered, but I have begun 
again ; I must redeem myself, my settlers still believe in 
me ; they say they still want me and they shall have the 
best I can give them. I am not going to give in ; I shall 
continue to work for South Africa harder than ever/ There 
were times early in that year when it was clear that he 
suffered from an agony of mind almost past endurance, but 
he gradually rose high above the direful business, though 
people little knew what he went through at the time. With 
greater force than ever, he threw himself into the develop- 
ment of South Africa and pressed forward his railway and 
telegraph lines towards Egypt. 

Nothing daunted him, and while others were still wrangling 
over the Raid he set to work for the interests of all. 
Prejudice was no part of his nature, and he possessed neither 
party enmity nor narrowness of spirit. Great ambition he 
had ; not for his own advantage, but for the prosperity of 
the British Empire, its growth and its greatness. Sitting 
by him in the little cottage at Muizenberg some four days 
before his death, I heard him murmur, ' The greatness of my 
country, the greatness of my country. Would that I might 
add to it, would that I might add to it.' 

The ultimate result of Rhodes's expansion policy, like the 
ripples from a stone thrown into a still pool, cannot be 
counted or measured, and the gap he left is one which never 
can be filled. 



394 RHODES : A LIFE 

The people of Rhodesia missed him as children miss a 
father on whom they have grown to depend for all the 
necessities of life. Until now the settlers had only needed 
to carry all their problems to Rhodes to have them 
straightened out. When he was no longer with them, to 
whom should they turn? It was many years before they 
learned to stand without effort upon their own feet. 

More than all, the natives missed him ; to them no one 
has ever filled his place. From now onwards they got just 
and fair treatment from the Administration, but this did 
not compensate them for the nearer and more human 
touch which marked all Rhodes's dealings with the coloured 
races. 

Lord Grey, in a speech to the Chartered shareholders, 
said of him: 'He was in truth the most strenuous 
lover of his country, the most single-minded and the 
greatest-hearted man I ever met. During his life he 
gave all his energies and all his wealth to the service of the 
Empire, and in his Will he has bequeathed to the entire 
Anglo-Saxon world the priceless legacy of an inspiring ideal. 
... I have come across, and sometimes in the most un- 
expected quarters, men whose characters have been entirely 
changed by the example of Cecil Rhodes, and whose ambition 
it is now to administer as a public trust considerable pro- 
portions of those fortunes which, but for him, they would 
probably have spent upon themselves.' 

Speaking of Rhodes eight years after his death, Lord 
de Villiers for long Chief Justice of the Cape said : * As 
time passes and his achievements are seen in their true 
perspective, it is the pure gold of his composition which will 
be the permanent feature of his image and command the 
admiration of future generations of South Africans, as of 
Englishmen. * 

When Rhodes first landed in South Africa the boundary 
of British possessions was at the Orange River and the 
.border of the Orange Free State. Twenty-five years later 
the southern end of Lake Tanganyika formed the northern 
limit of British rule. 




SOUTH AFRICA IN 1902, THE YEAR OF RHODES S DEATH. 



To RENDER MYSELF USEFUL 395 

'From Cape Town to the Zambesi/ said Lord Bryce, 
when he visited Rhodesia, * it is all Rhodes. When I asked 
who built that, who made this industry, who created that, 
who is responsible for this, I got one reply Rhodes/ 

These words are a sure proof that the ideas Rhodes had 
begun to form twenty-five years earlier, and moulded 
through many critical times, had become such well- 
developed realities that no longer could any passing storm 
materially damage them; so strong indeed was their 
structure that all were now able to stand alone, firmly 
embedded as they were in the foundations he had so 
thoroughly laid for them. 

A quarter of a century has passed since his death, 
yet to-day his spirit speaks with as great an intensity as if 
he were alive. He was always thinking of the greatest 
good for the British race, for which he laboured with such 
indomitable energy and for which he wore his life to a 
premature end. His devotion to England was intense. 
For her expansion, for her glory, for her greatness, he gave 
everything he possessed, including life, and died still serving 
her. 

Of him it might be said, as it was of Disraeli, c He opened 
the souls of Englishmen to the consciousness of a free 
Empire, a cabling and a dignity not inferior to that of 
Rome.' Posterity must be the judge, and posterity will 
undoubtedly decide that Rhodes fulfilled the one absorbing 
thought which imbued his dynamic career* To be useful 
to my country/ 



APPENDIX 

CIVIL SERVICE CLUB, 

CAPE TOWN. 
MY LORD, June 7th, 1885. 

On reading your motion for papers in reference to Bechuanaland, 
I gather you are not quite so prejudiced as the generality of the English 
public. I should be glad if you would obtain my letter of resignation, 
which has been in Lord Derby s hands for the last two months. I suppose 
he will have laid it on the table with the papers promised before Whitsun- 
tide. I have also by this mail replied to a memorandum of Sir Charles 
Warren which will afford information. I merely ask for fair criticism. 
My main object in the whole question has been to retain the interior and 
shut the Transvaal in, and I felt that England would not stand permanently 
the cost of a Crown Colony in the interior. A protectorate is liable to be 
abandoned at any moment so I worked throughout for annexation to 
Cape Colony. Once made English territory it could not be abandoned. 
If you will read the papers by this light you will understand the whole 
case. The Rev. John Mackenzie and his contingent have persistently 
misrepresented my objects, but unfortunately he has succeeded in gaining 
most of the English press who do not understand the question. By 
Warren's uncontrolled action with him you have lost for this year all 
chance of Colonial annexation. This would not matter if you are prepared 
to face the cost of a Crown Colony in the interior which I estimate at 
about 300,000 per annum. You are now spending about 150,000 per 
month. I am so afraid that the British public will get sick of it and clear 
out and then it wul drift back to the Transvaal, If Warren had worked 
with the Governor we could have carried annexation to Colony. As it is 
nothing has been done. You have spent one million and a half and are 
practically just where you started. 

Though personally unacquainted with you, I have often heard of you 
through my brother Frank who was at Eton with you. 

Yours truly, j BHODBS . 

P.S. Do not be led away by the assertion that I am pro-Dutch in my 
sympathies. I had to consider the best mode of permanently checking 
the expansion of the Boer Republics in the interior. The only solution 
I can see is to enclose them by the Cape Colony. The British public I feel 
will never stand the expense of a Crown Colony so far removed from the 
sea. It cannot be made self -supporting as it would have very few sources 
of revenue. Having no ports it would receive no customs, which are the 
chief support of a Colony, and directed by an Imperial officer on the Mac- 
kenzie lines you would have to keep a large police force as against possible 
Boer encroachments. If the Mother Country is prepared to face such an 
expenditure I say by all means adopt such a policy. But my instructions 
have always been that after asserting British supremacy the course 
desired was Colonial annexation. Against this Warren has agitated ever 
since he went into the country, and I feel I have been placed in a false 
position. The Niekirk trial came to an end as soon as he was sent to the 
Colony. The Crown Prosecutor at Kimberley declined to prosecute on 
the grounds of there being no evidence. I mention this as it may be stated 
that it is due to the pro-Boer sympathies of Cape politicians that it was 
not proceeded with. The real facts are that the barrister who decided 
on the merits of the case is Hoskyns, an Oxford man, and certainly 
thoroughly English in his views. It would have been better for all parties 
if Warren had sent Niekirk at once to the Colony instead of keeping hi 
in confinement for nearly four months and submitting him to the farce of 
an irregular trial in Bechuanaland, at the dose of which he re-arrested 
Niekirk and sent him to the Colony only to be released as soon as his case 
was submitted to a qualified legal mind. 

Conduct such as Warren's is just heaping up future trouble in this 
country and destroying all chance of success for those who in this country 
are earnestly working to cement the two nationalities on the grounds of 
tru loyalty to the British Flag. ' C. J. R. 



INDEX 



Abercorn, Duke of, 111, 113, 336. 
Aborigines Protection Society, 107, 

111, 306. 

Adams, Major Goold, 159, 161. 
Adendorff, Concession, 139, 140, 

232, 233. 

' Africa,' H.M.S., 291, 292. 
African Lakes Company, 138. 
Aird, Sir John, 303. 
Amatongaland, 182. 
Angra Pequena, 65, 72. 

Babayan, 265, 268, 271. 
Baden-Powell, General, 210. 
Bailey, Sir Abe, 336, 355. 
Baker, Sir Herbert, 331, 337, 360. 
Banyailand, 232. 
Barberton, 77, 100. 
Barkly West, 49, 68, 70, 100, 165. 
Bamato, Barney, 44, 48, 79, 80-83, 

182. 
Barotseland, 120, 137, 138, 251, 351, 

389. 

Baautoland, 57, 58, 60. 
Basutos, 57-59, 214. 
Bathoen, Chief, 169. 
Bechuanaland, 61-74, 76, 82, 85, 

86, 99, 100, 102, 110, 111, 119, 

131, 132, 168-170, 188, 214, 

294, 322, 389, 390. 
Beira, 131, 133, 140, 144, 145, 152, 

186, 207, 216, 218, 229, 240, 

286, 288, 344, 389. 
Beit, Alfred, 43, 44, 78, 82, 99, 113, 

145, 182, 302, 337, 355, 356, 

386. 
Belgium, 138. 

King Leopold of, 301, 303, 390. 
Berlin, 303. 

Bettington, Colonel, 198. 
Biscoe, Lieut. Tyndale, 126. 
Bishop's Stortford, 1, 3, 6, 20, 29, 

45. 



Blantyre, 137, 138, 150, 307. 

Blignaut's Pont, 124, 139. 

Boers, 1, 26, 41, 45, 50-73, 76, 84-87, 
91, 98, 101, 117, 124, 127, 139, 
140, 143, 166, 170, 172, 174, 
176, 182-184, 187, 192, 194, 
197, 205, 216, 222, 224, 283, 
288, 289, 291, 292, 295, 297, 
298, 309, 311-329, 339, 344, 
354, 364, 366, 370, 387, 388, 
390. 

Boksburg, 78. 

Bond, The Africander, 54, 67, 76, 
85, 127, 128, 142, 143, 182, 220, 
288, 289, 292, 295, 299, 313, 
344, 345, 346, 388. 

Booth, General, 75, 181, 306. 

Borckenhagen, Carl, 143. 

Botha, General, 388. 

Bower, Sir Graham, 51* 

Bradlaugh, 111. 

Brand, President, 55. 

British South Africa Company, see 
Chartered Company. 

Bulawayo, 6, 85, 86, 99, 100-102, 
104-108, 114, 115, 118, 123, 
131, 154, 155, 159-165, 208, 
210, 215, 217, 224, 233, 240, 
241, 252, 253, 258, 262, 266, 
268-270, 274-276, 278, 282-284, 
288, 289, 290, 298, 302, 330, 
347, 348, 349, 352, 353, 365, 
370, 375. 

Buller, General, 324. 

Buxton, Sir Sidney, 165. 

Cairo, 47, 74, 282, 288, 295, 297, 

302, 348, 349, 356. 
Canada, 148, 294, 310, 313, 318, 

373 
Cape Colony, 46-49, 52-57, 61-64, 

72, 74, 76, 80-83, 90, 91, 98, 

101, 111, 127-130, 132, 146, 



398 



INDEX 



148, 150, 159, 161-169, 172, 
176, 179-183, 188, 196, 197, 
200, 203, 211, 217-221, 223, 
231, 236, 246, 248, 257, 288- 
295, 297, 299, 307, 308, 312, 
314, 319, 335, 337, 344, 346, 
348, 359, 366, 381, 388-391. 
Government, 50, 53, 54, 63, 67, 

76, 119, 127. 

House of Assembly, 50, 53, 54, 
63, 65, 67, 76, 85, 119, 127, 131, 
219, 220, 223, 224, 291, 298, 
299, 314, 338, 344, 346, 369, 
391. 

Town, 51, 52, 55, 58, 72, 75, 83, 
100, 101, 105, 107, 119, 129, 
131, 149, 151, 159, 164, 175, 
190, 191, 193, 195, 201, 205, 
218, 220-223, 229, 252, 286, 
290, 307, 308, 309, 316, 329, 
330, 333-336, 340, 342, 348, 

350, 354, 360, 362, 364, 368, 
369, 395. 

Carnegie, Rev. David, 272, 273. 

Oarrington, General, 121, 139, 208- 
215, 248, 252, 259. 

Cawston, George, 101, 108. 

Chadwick, Cooper, 101, 108. 

Chamberlain, Joseph, 92, 188, 191, 
196, 206, 296, 318. 

Chartered Company, The, or British 
South Africa Co., 110, 113, 116, 
119, 125, 130, 132-135, 139, 
145, 146, 148-150, 154, 157, 
158, 174, 181, 183, 188, 197, 
206-208, 211, 213, 232, 282, 
296, 297, 299, 300, 301, 305, 

351, 352, 355. 
Charter, Fort, 146, 158. 
Charter, The Royal, 116, 120, 127, 

206, 283. 

Chibi, Chief, 139, 153, 231-234. 
Churchill, Lord Randolph, 231, 232. 
Churchill, Winston, 355. 
Colenbrander, Johan, 122, 154, 213, 

249, 251, 253, 254, 257-262, 

264, 265. 
Mrs., 253. 

Colesberg Kopje, 15-18, 24, 30. 
Colquhoun, A. R., 120, 130, 135, 

145. 

Colvin, Ian, 47, 81. 
Congo, 120, 138, 301, 390. 
Consolidated Goldfielda, 5, 79, 117. 



Constantinople, 180. 

Convention of London, 67, 176. 

Coryndon, Sir Robert, 338, 351. 

Cromer, Lord, 306. 

Cronje, General, 198, 325, 327. 

Currey, Harry, 338. 

Currey, J. B., 25, 337, 338, 369. 

Currie, Sir Philip, 180. 

Dalham Hall Estate, 5, 358, 376. 
Dalston Estates, 100, 103, 376. 
Damaraland, 200. 
Davis, Sir Edmund, 303. 
De Beers, 32, 40, 41, 49, 77-82. 
Consolidated Company, 82, 83, 

98, 100, 110, 116, 127, 130, 165, 

220, 325, 326, 327, 338, 350, 

355, 369. 
Delagoa Bay, 62, 65, 72, 76, 100, 

130, 132, 133, 137, 175, 200. 
Delarey, Adrian, 68. 
Derby, Lord, 65, 69. 
Derry, Bishop of, 225. 
De Villiers, Sir Henry, 148, 318, 

388, 394. 
De Waal, D. C., 131, 132, 145, 147, 

224, 229, 231, 232. 
Doornkop, 197. 

Doyle, Dennis, 115, 118, 122, 135. 
Dutch. See under Boers. ' 
Dutoitspan, 12, 18. 

Edwards, Major Sam, 85, 115. 
Egypt, 141, 149, 151, 298, 301, 302, 

303, 305, 308, 356, 357, 393. 
Engliflh, Tom, 49. 

Escombe, Prime Minister of Natal, 
' 294. 

Fairbairn, James, 101, 105. 

Faku, 269, 270. 

Farrar, Lionel, 298. 

Faure, Sir Pieter, 128, 336. 

Ferreira, Colonel, 139, 232. 

Fife, Duke of, 113. 

Forbes, Major, 157-160. 

Fort, Seymour, 123, 134, 288. 

Fourteen Streams, 70, 71. 

French, General, 327 

Frere, Sir Bartle, 16_. 

Fuller, Sir Thomas, 51, 54, 55, 56, 75. 

Gambo, 270. 
Gazaland, 135, 137, 389. 



INDEX 



399 



German Emperor, 200, 303, 304, 

306, 378. 
Scholarships, 378. 
Territory, 68, 301, 304. 
Germany, 65, 72, 73, 85, 101, 150, 

168, 174, 181, 184, 199, 200, 

285, 297, 306, 319, 347, 390. 
Gifford, Lord, 110, 113. 
Gladstone, William E., 90, 94, 96, 

141, 149, 165, 305, 309. 
Glen Grey Aot, 169, 170, 173. 
Gomalla, Chief, 154. 
Gordon, General, 58, 59, 66. 
Goshen, 62, 63, 70. 
Grey, Colonel Sir Raleigh, 193. 
Grey, Earl, 113, 201, 208, 209, 212, 

217, 218, 231, 240, 241, 279, 

290, 355, 394. 
Lady, 35. 
Grimmer, John, 217, 235, 238, 241, 

242, 251, 253, 257, 258, 320, 

338, 344, 364, 365. 
Griqualand West, 25, 49, 62, 63, 72, 

82. 

Grobler, Piet, 102. 
Grogan, Ewart, 347. 
Grootboom, John, 248-252. 
Groote Sohuur, 4, 5, 129, 170, 186, 

201, 217, 220, 240, 283, 296, 

304, 311, 312, 316, 330-343, 

349, 355, 363, 367, 369, 374, 

377. 

Gungunyana, 120, 135-137. 
Gwelo, 207, 208, 210, 238. 

Hammond, John Hays,177, 178, 243. 
Haroourt, Sir William, 89, 149, 223, 

348. 

Harris, Lord, 73. 
Harris, Dr. Rutherfoord, 106, 136, 

339. 

Hartley Hill, 146. 
Hawkins, H. C., 12, 18, 22, 41. 
Hawksley, Bourohier F., 285. 
Hayes-Fisher, Mr. (LordDownham), 

95, 96. 

Hearty, Major, 112, 157, 193. 
Helm, Bev., 101-103, 105, 108, 116. 
Hensman, Howard, 22, 58. 
Hervey, Hubert, 212, 383. 
Hicks-Beach, Sir Michael, 296, 302, 

303. 
Hofmeyr, Jan H., 52-54, 66, 67, 148, 

196, 197, 200, 202, 288, 318, 336. 



Holford, Colonel George, 241, 242. 
Holi, 255-257, 271-274. 
Home Rule, 80, 81, 89-91, 93, 94, 
96, 97. 

Inyanga, 216, 217, 238, 282, 284, 
287, 320, 338, 344, 365, 375. 

Jameson, Dr. Leander Starr, 43, 45- 
48, 62, 106-109, 114-125, 131, 
133-137, 139, 145, 147, 152, 
154-163, 177-179, 182, 183, 186- 
202, 205, 207, 208, 217, 220, 
222, 231, 232, 282, 283, 287, 
288, 311, 312, 320, 336, 346, 348, 
351, 355-359, 363-369, 388, 393. 
Raid, 134, 193, 198, 203, 205-207, 
216-222, 283, 286, 289, 317, 
333, 336, 393. 

Joel, Solly, 182. 

Joel, Woolf, 79, 82. 

Johannesburg, 5, 77, 78, 100, 124, 
175-179, 182, 183, 186-191, 193, 
196-203, 314. 

Johnson, Frank, 112, 121, 122, 125, 
131, 145, 229. 

Johnston, H. H., 120, 137, 138, 150. 

Joubert, General, 68, 69, 133. 

Jourdan, Philip, 51, 201, 217, 235, 
257, 277, 289, 312, 333, 338, 
339, 344, 351, 355, 356, 364. 

Kaiser. See under German Em- 
peror. 

Kalahari, 168. 

Katanga, 120, 138, 231, 390. 

Kekewioh, Colonel, 321, 322, 324. 

Khalifa, 300. 

Khama, 101, 102, 122, 146, 232, 266. 

Khartoum, 66, 151, 328. 

Kimberley, 8, 15, 22, 25, 27, 31-34, 
39-41, 43, 44, 48, 49, 52, 58-60, 
62, 64, 66, 69, 76-78, 80, 81, 83, 
86, 103, 106, 109, 113, 114, 118- 
120, 122, 123, 128, 129, 132, 
133, 135, 141, 142, 146, 165, 
170, 171, 180, 182, 202, 205, 
216, 219, 220, 228, 229, 231, 
232, 235, 237, 266, 314, 315, 
319-330, 337, 338, 343, 346, 
350, 351, 362, 370, 386, 387. 
Central Minmg Company, 79, 81. 
Club, 82, 121. 
Light Horse, 321, 328. 



400 



INDEX 



Kimberley, Lord, 24. 

Kipling, Rudyard, 337, 349, 371. 

Kitchener, Lord, 6, 151, 300, 301, 
303, 304, 328, 361, 366. 

Knutsford, Lord, 88, 107, 111, 113. 

Kruger, President, 48, 55, 56. 61-64, 
67, 69, 70, 76, 78, 84, 86, 100, 
102, 124, 132-134, 139, 174-178, 
181-185, 193, 198-201, 228, 283, 
288, 294, 295, 312, 314, 316, 
318, 319, 347, 388, 393. 

Kumalu, Karl, 274-278. 

Labouohere, 111, 222, 223. 

Labram, Mr., 325, 327. 

Ladysmith, 5, 320, 325. 

Laing, Major Tyrie, 208. 

Laing's Nek, 319. 

Lange, Mr. Advocate, 237. 

Langlaagte, 77. 

Laurier, Sir Wilfred, 318. 

Lawley, A. L., 152, 186. 

Lendy, Captain, 124, 156. 

Leonard, Charles, 52, 174, 189-192. 

Le Sueur, Gordon, 283, 289, 338, 
339, 364. 

Lewanika, 120, 137, 351. 

Limpopo river, 136, 139, 228, 232, 
233, 388. 

Lippert, Herr, 101, 131, 132. 

Lisbon, 84, 138, 144. 

Lobengula, 8, 13, 84-87, 99, 101-109, 
111, 112, 114-118, 120, 122-125, 
131, 163-155, 157, 159-162, 228, 
232-234, 254, 255, 258, 263, 
266, 266, 268-270, 272-275, 292, 
365. 

Loch, Sir Henry, 116, 124, 127, 131, 
132, 139, 166, 167. 

Lochner, Frank L., 120, 137, 351. 

Lomagundi, 153, 243, 244. 

Lotje, 114, 161. 

MacDonald, Sir John, 148. 
Machell, Percy, 356. 
Mackenzie, John, 66-68, 70, 71, 111. 
Macloutsi, 118, 130-132, 228. 
MacNeiU, Swift, M.P., 80, 81, 89-91, 

93, 96. 
Mafeking, 41, 62, 114, 115, 119, 128, 

150, 190, 195, 208, 231, 370. 
Maguire, Rochfort, 34, 43, 97, 99, 

102-106, 108, 109, 117, 302, 

303, 337, 355. 



Mahdi, The, 66, 149. 

Mankoroane, 62, 63, 85, 390. 

Martin, Sir Richard, 214. 

Mashona tribes, 112, 153-156. 

land, 108, 112, 118, 120, 121, 123- 
126, 128, 130-133, 135, 138-140, 
144-147, 150, 152, 155-168, 163, 
165, 177, 212, 228, 229, 231, 
232, 234, 239, 300, 328, 351, 
357, 389. 

Matabele, 8, 13, 15, 99, 112, 115, 
121, 122, 131, 139, 153-160, 
163, 164, 194, 210-214, 233, 
248, 249, 253, 254, 256, 258, 
259, 264, 265, 268, 273-276, 
284, 286, 350, 371-373. 
-land, 85, 86, 88, 98-100, 103-105, 
107, 108, 112, 113, 115, 117, 
120, 156, 159, 162, 163, 177, 
215, 256, 260, 262, 275, 286, 
300, 309, 366. 

Rebellion, 207-214, 239, 274, 338. 
War, 68, 154-163, 194, 375. 

Matopo Estate, 217, 289, 292, 354, 

365, 368, 370. 
Dam, 292, 351, 357. 
Hills, 1, 10, 15, 35, 209, 210, 212, 
213, 217, 241, 258, 259, 265, 
270, 273, 275-278, 280, 284, 
286, 309, 339, 340, 350, 351, 
359, 368, 371-373, 375. 

Maund, E. A., 85, 101, 104-108, 265, 
266. 

Menpes, Mortimer, 332. 

Menzies, Sir Robert, 355. 

Merriman, John X., 22, 23, 48, 52, 
128, 151, 171, 202, 317. 

Metcalfe, Sir Charles, 34, 43, 95, 
159, 161, 162, 207, 213, 217, 
234, 235, 238, 239, 243, 257, 
281, 287, 289, 301-303, 312, 
336, 344, 351, 355, 356, 364, 369. 

Methuen, General Lord, 323. 

Michell, Sir Lewis, 21, 34, 37, 217, 
284, 285, 286, 292, 336, 354, 
361, 364, 366, 369. 

Milner, Lord, 34, 288, 293, 313, 317, 
318, 319, 336, 345, 385. 

Milton, Sir William, 166, 217, 339. 

M'Jana, 161, 268, 269. 

M'Levu, 263-265. 

Mofiat, Rev. J. S., 85-88, 98, 108, 

116-118, 262, 263. 
Treaty, 87, 98, 102. 



INDEX 



401 



Molteno, Sir John, 52. 
Mount Hampden, 122, 126. 
Muizenberg, 312, 329, 360-364, 393. 
M'Ziligazi, 13, 259-263, 269. 

Napier, Colonel, 210. 

Natal, 10, 12, 30, 31, 37, 166, 169, 

176, 183, 265, 294, 317, 319, 

382, 383. 

Native franchise, 76, 77. 
liquor traffic, 77. 
policy, 166, 169-173, 214, 215, 

391. 

Navy, Imperial, 148, 291. 
Newton, Sir Francis, 52, 99. 
N'gamiland, 62, 168, 290. 
Nile, the, 303, 356. 
Norris, W. E., 196. 
Nyasa, Lake, 138, 150. 

-land, 3, 120, 137, 150, 282, 287, 

307. 

Omdurman, 300. 

Orange Free State, 61, 139, 176, 

183, 194, 294, 296, 297, 314- 

317, 319, 325. 

Order in Council, 300, 301, 390. 
Oriel College, 29, 377, 391. 
Oxford, 9, 12, 22, 27, 28, 30-40, 52, 

99, 285, 305, 349, 360, 361, 377- 
380, 383, 384. 

Paardeberg, 325. 

Paarl, 220, 292, 293, 341. 

Palapye, 122, 146, 231, 232. 

Parkes, Sir Henry, 148. 

Parnell, C. S., 81, 89, 90, 93, 95-97, 

100, 392. 

Pauling, George, 152, 186, 215. 
Pennefather, Colonel, 125, 132. 
Phillips, Sir Lionel, 336. 
Pickering, Neville, 43, 45-47, 59, 60, 

235, 338. 

Pickstone, H. E. V., 292. 
Pioneers, The Mashonaland, 123, 

130, 132. 
Pitsani, 193, 220. 
Plumer, General, 212, 213, 214, 248, 

251, 252, 253, 256, 259, 261, 

262. 

Pondoland, 166-169. 
Portal, Sir Gerald, 149. 
Portugal, 132, 138, 200. 
Portuguese, 65, 84, 85, 87, 98, 112, 



116, 117, 120, 132, 133, 135- 
138, 140, 144, 145, 175, 232, 
389. 

Pretoria, 69, 76, 100, 132, 175, 178, 
181, 187, 190, 193, 195, 196, 
200, 201, 228, 315, 317, 347. 

Providential Pass, 126. 

Pungwe River, 131, 133, 144, 145, 
152, 158, 217. 

Radziwffi, Princess, 307, 311, 312, 

354, 355, 359, 360, 362. 
Railway, Beira, 152, 186, 216, 288. 

and Customs Union, 76. 

Cape, 76, 124, 133, 175, 314. 

Delagoa Bay, 175. 

Nederlands, 124, 175, 314. 

Trans-Continental, 301, 303, 305, 

308, 348, 349, 389, 393. 
Rannoch, 355. 
Reform Committee, 182, 193, 199. 

Leaders, 5, 189, 190, 198-201. 

Movement, 187, 202, 392. 
Renny-Tailyour, E. R., 101, 104, 

131. 
Rhodes, Cecil John : 

birth, 1. 

family, 1-6. 

at school, 6-9. 

in Natal, 10-17. 

on the Diamond Fields, 18-28. 

his first Will, 26, 130. 

at Oxford and Kimberley, 29-49. 

enters Parliament, 50. 

his second Will, 59. 

secures Bechuanaland, 73. 

amalgamates the diamond mines 
and founds the De Beers Con- 
solidated Company, 82. 

and the Rudd Concession, 102. 

obtains Charter, 116. 

becomes Prime Minister, 127. 

buys Groote Schuur, 129. 

visits Mashonaland, 145. 

annexes Pondoland, 168. 

passes the Glen Grey Act, 171. 

made Privy Councillor, 181, - 

and the Reform Movement, 187- 
204. 

resigns Premiership, 196, 202. 

resigns from Board of Chartered 
Company, 206. 

makes peace with the Matabele, 
213, 214. 



402 



INDEX 



before the Select Committee, 222. 
prepares his final Will, 285. 
re-elected to Board of the Char- 
tered Company, 296. 
returns to Parliament, 300. 
receives Degree of D.C.L. at 

Oxford, 305. 

besieged in Kimberley, 319-327. 
life at Groote Schuur, 330-342. 
diverse activities, 347-354. 
last illness, 355-365. 
his death, 366. 
his funeral, 367-373. 
his Will, 374-380. 
summary of his work, 381-395. 
Rhodes, Arthur, 4, 5. 
Bernard, 4, 6. 
Edith, 4. 

Elmhirst, 4, 5, 69, 323, 364. 
Ernest, 4, 5, 69, 376. 
Francis William, Rev., 3, 6, 31, 

45. 
Frank, Colonel, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 23, 

25, 27, 30, 69, 149, 189, 198, 

199, 300, 372, 376. 
Herbert, 2, 4, 7, 9-12, 14, 15, 18, 

20, 23, 25, 26, 27, 48, 49. 
Louisa, Mrs., 3, 4, 18, 20, 31. 
Louisa, 4. 
William, 2, 3, 100. 
Scholars, 373, 378-380, 384, 385. 
Trust, 252. 
Rhodesia, 8, 61, 76, 77, 134, 140, 

180, 181, 186, 188, 194, 201, 

206, 207, 215-218, 224, 226, 
232, 235, 236, 243, 282, 283, 
288, 290, 294, 295, 296, 300, 
301, 305, 306, 309, 310, 324, 
328, 330, 339, 344, 352, 353, 
354, 357, 365, 368, 369, 370, 
373, 375, 389, 390, 393, 394, 
395. 

Richardson, J. P., 248, 249, 251. 

Rinderpest, 207. 

Roberts, Lord, 324, 328, 347. 

Robinson, Sir Hercules (later Lord 
Rosmead), 5, 65-71, 75, 85, 86, 
88, 103, 105, 113, 116, 182, 187, 
191, 195-197, 200, 201, 206, 

207, 288. 

Robinson, J. B., 78, 182. 
Rolleston, Captain, 11, 15. 
Rooi Grond, 62, 66, 68. 
Rosebery, Lord, 149, 



Rosmead, Lord. See under Sir 

Hercules Robinson. 
Rudd, C. D., 20-27, 32, 33, 38, 40- 

45, 49, 78, 79, 99-106, 111, 114, 

117, 120, 228, 229, 336. 
Concession, 102-104, 107, 109, 

114, 116. 
Ruskin, John, 36. 

Salisbury, 124, 126, 130-133, 135, 
145, 150, 152, 154, 156-159, 
179, 207, 210, 212, 217, 228, 
229, 231, 232, 240, 241, 243- 
245, 274, 282, 286, 287, 289, 
290, 295, 297, 298, 330, 344. 
Lord, 84, 89, 113, 137, 140. 

RjVndringT < Mvm ) 306. 

Sauer, Dr. Hans, 78, 158, 159, 243, 

251, 252, 258. 
Sauer, J. W., 52, 59, 127, 128, 151, 

314. 

Sauerdale, 217. 
Scab Act, 172. 

Scanlen, Sir Thomas, 52, 58, 63, 66. 
Schnadhorst, Mr., 141, 142, 392. 
Schreiner, W. P., 52, 151, 197, 201, 

202, 288, 314, 336, 344. 
Mrs., 52, 201. 
Schultz, Dr., 120, 136. 
Scully, W. C., 22, 25, 27. 
Select Committee, The, 202, 203, 

216, 220-223. 
Selous, F. C., 111, 112, 121-123, 125, 

126, 146, 231-234. 
Shangani river, 160, 161, 268, 350, 

359, 375. 

Sharpe, Sir Alfred, 138. 
Shaw, Flora, 134. 

Shippard, Sir Sidney, 86, 100, 102. 
Shir6 river, 48, 137, 138. 
Sigcau, 166, 167. 
Sivewright, 128, 149, 151. 
Smartt, Dr., 312, 316, 336, 364, 369. 
Sobat, 300. 
Solomon, Saul, 52. 
Soudan, 5, 66, 328. 
Southey, Sir Richard, 25. 
Spengler, Oswald, 4, 341, 367. 
Sprigg, Sir Gordon, 54, 57, 58, 69, 

76, 127, 128, 151, 202, 345, 346, 

369. 

Stairs, Lieut., 138. 
Stead, W. T., 35, 111, 142, 384. 
Stellaland, 62, 63, 66, 68, 70, 71. 



INDEX 



403 



Stellenbosch, 293. 
Stent, Vere, 251, 252. 
Stevenson, Sir Edmund, 336, 363, 369. 
Steyn, President, 314, 317, 318. 
Stow, Philipson, 49, 82. 
Sutherland, Dr., 11, 12, 14, 29, 37. 
"Swan, John, 181. 
Swaziland, 124, 182, 263, 275. 

Tanganyika, 75, 138, 150, 231, 296, 

300, 301, 302, 309, 394. 
Tati, 115, 118, 123. 
Taylor, 'Bulala,' 162. 

Taylor, Sir Herbert, 260, 262, 264. 
Telegraph, trans-continental, 119, 
141, 149-151, 282, 297, 300, 

301, 303-305, 308, 348, 349, 
393. 

Tete, 282. 

Thompson, Frank, 99, 102-106, 108, 
109, 114-118. 

Thomson, Joseph, 120, 138. 

Tony de la Cruz, 145, 196, 201, 234, 
235, 238, 278, 281, 289. 

Transvaal, 27, 30, 48, 53, 54, 66, 61, 
63, 65, 67, 72, 76, 77, 84, 85, 
86, 98, 100, 102, 124, 139, 174- 
177, 181, 182, 183, 187, 188, 
191-193, 200, 202, 203, 211, 
220, 232, 262, 283, 289, 290, 
293, 294, 295, 312, 314, 315- 
319, 325, 352, 387, 390, 393. 

Tuli, 130, 132, 135, 145, 154, 168, 
159, 161, 163, 208, 209, 228. 

Tweed, John, 181, 350, 359. 

Tyson, Captain, 231. 

Uganda, 5, 149, 150, 300, 301. 
Uitlanders, The, 174-178, 182-186, 

192, 194, 198, 203, 289, 313, 

317-319, 

Umkomaas, 12, 13, 14, 16, 30. 
Umlugulu, 250. 
Umtali, 145, 186, 216, 217, 229, 

238, 239, 240, 282, 287, 288, 

330, 344. 

Umvukwe, 243, 244. 
United States of America, The, 48, 

285, 310, 373, 385. 



Upington, Thomas, 52, 66, 69. 

Vaal river, 12, 75, 237, 325. 
Van der Byl, Mrs., 129, 336. 
Van Niekerk, 62, 66-68, 70, 71. 
Van Pittius, Gey, 62. 
Venter, M., 131, 132. 
Victoria Falls, 296, 348. 
Fort, 146, 153-156, 158, 159, 208, 

209, 231. 
Queen, 104, 105, 107, 112, 116- 

118, 125, 140, 143, 167, 265, 

266, 267, 269, 317. 
Vryburg, 128, 131, 294, 370. 

Wady Haifa, 151. 
Walfish Bay, 65, 130. 
Walton, Sir Edgar, 336, 364. 
Wankie Colliery, 296. 
War, Boer, 5, 6, 317-329. 
Basuto, 57. 

Matabele, 68, 154-163, 194, 375. 
Warren, General Sir Charles, 34, 69- 

72, 131. 

Watts, G. F., 341. 
Wet, Mrs. Koopman de, 336. 
Will, the first, 26, 130. 
the second, 59. 
the final, 283, 374-380. 
Williams, Basil, 78, 285. 
Williams, Robert, 231, 355. 
Willoughby, Sir John, 144, 157, 158, 

193. 
Wilson, Major Allan, 160, 161, 268, 

279, 350, 359. 

Wilson, 'Matabele,' 101, 154, 155. 
Windsor Castle, 140. 
Wolseley, General Lord, 77. 
' World's View,' hill, 258, 279, 281, 

368, 371-375. 
Wyndham, George, 95, 96, 222, 242, 

355. 

Zambesi, 75, 82, 84, 101, 103, 120, 
130, 162, 171, 173, 207, 226, 
239, 282, 288, 296, 299, 307, 
308, 348, 354, 381, 389, 395. 

Zimbabwe, 231, 331. 

Zomba, 137. 



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